Television

PBL S3 to launch with Saina vs Sindhu match

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MUMBAI: The Vodafone Premier Badminton League (PBL) season 3 is just around the corner featuring top Indian and international badminton talent in the world, including eight Olympic Medal Winners.

The league kicks-off on 23 December 2017 and will go on till 14 January 2018. Guwahati will open the third season. The pan-Indian league will be hosted in five cities this time, with Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai, and Hyderabad being the others. Hyderabad, which is very much Indian badminton’s hub, will get the honour to host both the semi-finals as well as the final.

The defending champions Chennai Smashers will take on Awadhe Warriors on the first day, with the clash between India’s top two shuttle queens, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu.

Indian badminton has a strong legacy from the past with players like Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand who have put India on the global badminton map. Season one of the PBL attracted more than six crore badminton fans in India through various social media and other platforms, and this number only increased in season two.

The costliest player this time is India’s HS Prannoy. The World No 10 was bought by the Ahmedabad Smash Masters for a whopping Rs 62 lakh.

The women’s singles top-ranked player, Tai Tzu Ying, who has won five superseries titles this year, is a new name in the PBL and she will represent the Ahmedabad franchise. Men’s singles No 1 Viktor Axelsen, who was crowned the world champion in August, will play for Bengaluru Blasters.

Besides showcasing the best of international and Indian talent, the tournament has also been successful in widening the base of the game.

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