The city of Pune is slated to be the newest addition to the Pro Badminton League tournament and will be named as Pune Seven Aces, owned by Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu and KRI group. This would mean that the fourth season of the PBL will see a total of nine teams participating for the title.
The 2018-19 season of the Pro Badminton League will see a new team in contention for a shot at the grand prize. The city of Pune nestled in the middle of the state of Maharashtra is in line to be the latest member of the nationwide PBL competition after it was named as the newest franchise of the league on Friday.
In an effort to make the PBL a much bigger affair, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has introduced this new team for the fourth edition of the league. The Pune-based franchise will compete in the league under the name of - Pune Seven Aces.
"The number of people getting inclined towards badminton in this country has witnessed a steep rise in the last few years. PBL especially has been instrumental for such a development.
"The League started off with six teams in season one and now we have nine franchisees within a span of three years, which is an incredible feat. I am confident we will continue to increase the popularity of the sport and PBL will continue to make waves all across in the future too," BAI President and Chairman PBL Himanta Biswa Sarma told PTI sources.
"I have played quite a bit of badminton in my early days and have a special liking for the game. I always wanted to associate myself with the game in a big way and I have found the perfect avenue to express my passion through the League. I am confident that Pune Seven Aces will be a team to reckon with," Taapsee Pannu revealed.
The PBL, which offered a prize money of Rs 6 crore, was an eight-team competition last year with Delhi Dashers (Delhi), Mumbai Rockets (Mumbai), Awadhe Warriors (Lucknow), Hyderabad Hunters (Hyderabad), Chennai Smashers (Chennai), Bengaluru Raptors (Bengaluru) Ahmedabad Smash Masters (Ahmedabad) and North Eastern Warriors (North East) in contention for the winning amount. But it was the Hyderabad franchise, led by 2016 Olympic champion Carolina Marin, that claimed prize money last season.
However, this season will see a total of nine-teams competing for the ultimate prize. The upcoming season will be held from December 22 to January 13,