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PBL 2019 | Graph of badminton is on the rise in India, believes Saina Nehwal

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PBL 2019 | Graph of badminton is on the rise in India, believes Saina Nehwal

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SportsCafe Desk

11/11/2018

Saina Nehwal is of the opinion that the Indian badminton graph is moving upwards which is a great thing for the sport in the country. She has also mentioned that she is focussing on her fitness to remain injury-free during the upcoming edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL).

Nehwal believes that the last 17 years have been dream years for the Indian shuttlers and it all begun with Pullela Gopichand winning the All England Championships back in 2001. She has mentioned that if one looks around he/she can feel the difference in Indian badminton and can note the improvement of the shuttlers around the country.

"Look around and you will discover that the graph of badminton is on the rise in India." Saina wrote in her column for TOI. 

"The last 17 years have been revolutionary. It all started with Gopi (Pullela Gopichand) sir winning the All England Championships in 2001. Add to that my triumph in the Junior World Cup and the Gold Medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Parupalli Kashyap’s performances and then Jwala Gutta and Ashwani Ponnappa’s exploits in the women’s doubles, it inspired kids to take up the sport. All of that resulted in propelling PV Sindhu and myself into the top-10 of world ranking; and 3 to 5 men moving into the top-15. In such a scenario you needed a tournament where besides the above names, the aspiring ones could rub shoulders with the best.”

The ace shuttler will play for her new franchise North Eastern Warriors (NEW) in the 2018 edition of the PBL and she is looking forward to an injury-free run during the upcoming event. She was roped in by the North East franchise for a huge sum of Rs 80 lakh at the auction where she was one of the icon players. She played for Awadhe Warriors for three years in the badminton league.

"I wish to remain injury free in this PBL season. I am feeling good and have finished runners-up at the Indonesia Masters and Denmark Super Series, won 2 gold medals in CWG at the Gold Coast, a bronze in the Asian Championship and the Asian Games. I am confident and want to repeat the same in front of fans in the North East, my team," the shuttler explained.

"The PBL played its role to perfection in this aspect. Youngsters saw their favourite players coming to India, got a chance to mix and train with them, learning from the best. Obviously, the monetary benefits can’t ever be ignored but mingling with the top champions supersedes everything. For the kids, there was an increase in the number of their role models from across the globe and it had to have a positive effect. Ten years from now, the future champions will be crediting the PBL for their inspiration." 

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