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State shuttle league in the offing
- JBA plans IPL-style event from Sept. to glamorise badminton

If everything goes well, Jharkhand will soon have its own badminton league, on the lines of T20 extravaganza Indian Premier League (IPL).

As many as five teams from different parts of the state will vie for the title in the inaugural Jharkhand Badminton League (JBL) likely to be held in the steel city this September.

The proposal for an IPL-style badminton league was widely discussed at the executive committee meeting of Jharkhand Badminton Association (JBA) yesterday.

Office-bearers, including JBA president Dipak Verma, executive president Dipak Kumar Sinha, secretary K. Prabhakar Rao and representatives of 17 of the 19 affiliated district units, unanimously supported the idea.

Though things are still at a very nascent, the state shuttle body is gearing up to add glamour quotient to badminton, making it more popular among youngsters while providing a platform to budding talents.

“We are hosting the JBL in September at Mohan Ahuja Stadium and Tata Steel’s Badminton Training Centre. We have come up with a tentative format that will be fine-tuned at a meeting next week,” said JBA secretary Rao.

Shedding light on the “tentative” format, Rao, who is also the joint secretary of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), said five teams, each comprising three men and two women shuttlers, from across Jharkhand would compete in the JBL.

“While each of the men shuttlers will take part in two singles, one doubles, the eves will play one singles each. These apart, each team will play a mixed doubles match,” he told The Telegraph, adding that a larger picture would emerge at subsequent meetings.

Also, the JBA is yet to decide on the colour of Tees and shorts for the teams.

“We will search for franchisees for the teams and try our best to conduct the event efficiently,” Rao said.

The association is also planning to seek necessary inputs from the Maharashtra Badminton Association (MBA), as Maharashtra was the first state in the country to start a badminton league two years ago.

“Proper logistics support will be required to organise a big event like JBL. We will speak to our counterparts in Maharashtra and seek their advice. It was the MBA that prevailed upon the BAI to launch the Indian Badminton League last year,” a JBA member present at the executive panel meeting said.

Apart from the league, the JBA also finalised during the yesterday’s meeting the calendar for the upcoming senior and junior national championships.

“We have to prepare for the tournaments ahead by conducting selection trials,” Rao concluded.


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