Mumbai: Seven-time women’s national singles badminton champion Ami Ghia Shah on Thursday praised the concept of the IPL-style Indian Badminton League (IBL), saying young shuttlers would benefit a lot by rubbing shoulders with top players from overseas.
The Arjuna Award winner and former international, who captured her singles crowns from 1976 to 1979 in a row, said Indian players could observe their international counterparts and learn from them.
“It will help the Indian players. There are foreigners who are playing. Not all Indian players are fielded by the teams in the matches, but still it will definitely help them to improve their standard of game by watching (the top players),” 56-year-old Ami said.
This is the first edition, so probably there would be few hiccups (with not all players being able to play). I am sure in the long run it will help. Just being part of the team you learn a lot observing how the senior players train and play. I am sure it is going to help them,” she said.
Ami, who won her last women’s singles crown in 1983, also praised rising shuttler P V Sindhu for her performance in the World Championship at Guangzhou, where the Hyderabad teenager became India’s first medal winner in women’s singles. Sindhu won a bronze.
“It is very creditable to defeat two top Chinese players. I am sure it will add to her confidence in time to come,” she said.
Sindhu shocked world No. 2 Wang Yihan and No. 7 Wang Shixian to ensure a bronze medal before losing to eventual champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand in the semi-finals.
Ami felt with two Indian women now in the top rung of world badminton, the popularity of the game will increase in the country.