Superstars to clash in badminton opener – The Telegraph

P.V. Sindhu

Guwahati: It will be a clash of the Titans as badminton superstars P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal meet each other on the inaugural day of the Premier Badminton League Season 3 at Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bardoloi Indoor Stadium here on December 23.

The two Olympic medallists from Hyderabad will represent two different franchises. While London Olympics silver medallist Sindhu is the icon of Chennai Smashers, three-time Olympian and bronze medallist Nehwal, the first Indian woman shuttler to become world number 1, is her Awadhe Warriors counterpart, representing the Lucknow franchise.

The first leg of the league will take place in the debutant North Eastern Warriors’ hometown, Guwahati, where they will meet Olympic champion Carolina Marin’s Hyderabad Hunters on the second day of the 23-day league.

The other teams in this leg are Delhi Dashers, Mumbai Rockets and women’s world number 1 Tai Tzu-Ying’s Ahmedabad Smash Masters. The NE Warriors will also face Ahmedabad Smash Masters.

After four days in Guwahati, the scene will shift to Delhi, which will host five ties from December 27.

The next stop will be Lucknow from January 1. The PBL will move to the warmer climes of Chennai on January 5 for the penultimate leg.

After an intense five-day stint, the shuttlers will fly to Hyderabad on January 10 for two ties – one between Delhi Dashers and NE Warriors and another with Hyderabad Hunters and Bengaluru Blasters.

The semi-finals will take place on January 12 and 13 and the final on January 14.

Announcing the draw in New Delhi on Tuesday, organiser Sportzlive managing director Atul Pandey said: “This is going to be an exciting edition of the PBL…It’s a longer tournament, with eight teams in the fray. Virtually all the best players have signed up, which makes it the one and only true world league in the country.”

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Vadhiya Natha

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