With just 10 days left before the fifth season of Premier Badminton League (PBL) kicks off, it appears the final leg might be in need of some rescheduling. As per the original schedule, Bengaluru was set to host two of the league matches as well as the semifinals and the final (February 5 to 9) of the upcoming edition.
On Thursday morning, the Bengaluru Raptors posted a series of tweets on their official account making it clear that due to the unavailability of the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, they might not be able to host the scheduled matches. Under such circumstances, Hyderabad has emerged as the frontrunner to host the semifinal and final legs.
Here are the five tweets:
"This year, we wanted to organise the matches of the PBL at the Kanteerava Stadium, likely every year. We have been following up with the authorities for the last four months and doing all the due diligence and following all the procedure. But so far, we have not received any response. Nobody has told us if we will have the stadium, so we have not been able to come to a decision. If we are unable to get a confirmation on the venue by the end of the day, the event will be moved to Hyderabad," Prashanth Reddy, owner of Bengaluru Raptors, told The Bridge in an exclusive interaction.
"We are not asking for the stadium for free, we just want the stadium to be made available for us so that fans can come and experience top-level badminton. It is very tragic because Bengaluru is one of the cities where the sport is very popular. Ironically, though, it is also the only city where we face problems in hosting PBL matches," he added.
"It will be a terrible shame if Bengaluru is not able to witness a Tai Tzu Ying vs PV Sindhu, you know. Given that this is the Olympic year, the clash could have been a precursor to what would happen in Tokyo," Reddy signed off.
The upcoming edition of the PBL is scheduled to start on 20th January 2020 when P.V. Sindhu's team Hyderabad Hunters faces Chennai Superstarz in Chennai. Overall, a total of 24 ties will be played in 21 days. But it remains to be seen whether Bengaluru gets to play host or not.