India’s first Badminton Premier League to be held in PuneNews, Sports — By The Desk on March 4, 2011 at 11:29 AM
Pune Mirror: Even as the country, currently in the throes of the World Cup, braces for the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, Pune has come up with a Premier League that is sure to shift the focus away from cricket.
For the first time ever, a Badminton Premier League is being put together, through the initiative of the Haveli Badminton Association and Pune District and Metropolitan Badminton Association (PDMBA).
At the forefront of the venture is city businessman Aniruddha Deshpande. Speaking to Pune Mirror, Deshpande confirmed plans for the launch of the Badminton Premier League.
“This year, we are organising the League at the state level, and from next year onwards, the League will be held at a national level,” Deshpande said.
He added that 50 per cent of badminton stars in the country are from Maharashtra, and that the same have confirmed their participation.
Badminton, which was called ‘Poona’ during the British era, will be based on the IPL, and will get underway from May 7, Deshpande said. The Maharashtra Badminton Association and all other local associations are part of this League.
Deshpande said that they will declare all schedules on Saturday. “Meetings are going on, but the price money can be in lakhs. All games will have to be based on the IPL format, and badminton has to follow suit,” he said.
For hosting the Badminton Premier League, the city has well equipped badminton courts at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana and the Modern Sports Complex.
Besides these, the Poona Club, Ladies Club, Town Hall Club and Sanas Sports Ground have badminton courts where standard badminton can be played.
Uday Sane, joint secretary, PDMBA, said, “PDMBA will be hosting the League. The organising committee will be declared very soon. The listing of players and selection of locations is going on.”
Badminton in its earlier form started in Pune in the 18th century by British military officers stationed here. The Englishmen added a net to the traditional English game of battledore and shuttlecock. The game, incidentally, came to be known as ‘Poona’.
Initially, balls made of wool and referred to as ball badminton were preferred by the upper classes in windy or wet conditions, but ultimately the shuttlecock stuck. This game was taken by retired officers back to England, where it developed and rules were set out.