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Premier Badminton League is a major boon financially. Here's why.

Premier Badminton League is a major boon financially. Heres why.

Sohinee Basu

Published: 14 Dec 2018 5:37 AM GMT
The one topic that does the round in any family before their child launches into a career of sports is inevitably the nagging question of whether he or she will be able to make ends meet by simply being on the circuit. Countless talents have been curbed from blooming simply because of this pressing question and indeed by just being out there on the circuit, it does not solve all the issues pertaining to a certain thing called money. Naturally, when the concept of private leagues cropped up, it was welcomed with more cheer than expected. Badminton, too, was on the receiving end of such profitable leagues that has revolutionized the face of the sport in badminton-strong countries of India, Malaysia, China, and Indonesia. The auctions conducted of individual players in these private leagues often milled in more money for them than their season in the circuit earns them, through the BWF prize money from various tournaments. At the pace the world has been advancing in, the cost of living has taken up the role of perusing the path of a considerate hike and likewise, the BWF too, has increased its prize money slowly and steadily over the last few years. However, what comes off as surprising is that the players located in the Top 50 of the BWF rankings are also falling prey to not being able to live a life as comfortably as is expected of them. The private leagues like the
Premier Badminton League (PBL)
which is scheduled to ensue from the 22nd of December is a boon as well as a saving grace for all kinds of professional players towards the concluding days of the year. Also Read: Homecoming for PV Sindhu, Saina to don North-East outfit A simple analysis of the statistics is enough to indicate the role of major private leagues like the PBL play in the lives of those in the badminton circuit. There happen to be players out there still who have to linger and pin their hopes on their clubs or their national team for salary or go hunting for sponsors. The auctions of the fourth edition of PBL grabbed eyeballs with eight of its nine teams going in to buy players by setting 80 lakhs (8 million) as the maximum amount to lay claim to the Icon Player of the team. The best part about leagues like the PBL is that it comes with all things nice and forms the perfect respite from the tiring schedule with its fresh format of game and the cherry on the top, of course, is the money that comes from playing for the team and performing well in the matches and being on the receiving end of more money which comes as a huge relief to some players on the circuit, honestly.
Upon assessing the prize money won by certain top international players this 2018 season, it can be predicted that their stint at the PBL alone is likely to double their income earned in this year so far. Frenchman Brice Leverdez has won US$ 15,762 this season from BWF tournaments whilst the Taapsee Pannu owned Pune Warriors bought him for US$ 27,000! Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour will have a similar change of fate when she comes to India to play for two weeks. She has earned US$ 24,425 in the BWF tournaments this year while the auctions had Bengaluru Blasters scoop up the Scot for US$ 35,000! Our own home-bred Saina Nehwal has earned US$ 68,100 on tour this year whilst the PBL saw her being bought as an Icon Player for US$ 108,000! The times are also difficult for players who have chosen to take the independent path and not tether themselves to clubs and national teams. These players, therefore, are entirely dependent on sponsors and prize money from tournaments. The former Mixed Doubles Number 1 player Lee Yong Dae from South Korea who has made a comeback in 2018 has so far earned US$ 16,018 this year but thanks to the PBL auctions, he was bought at a whopping US$ 108,000 by the Mumbai Rockets! Chinese ace shuttler Tian Houwei was also aided by the PBL when he was bought by the North Eastern Warriors for this edition of the PBL at US$ 43,000! Surprisingly, Houwei had not been very active on the circuit in 2018 and had only won the China Masters in the previous year. The advent of leagues in all sports, not only badminton, has been a real boon. The leagues form the perfect nesting ground for new talent as well as the den for talented and established players to come spar with rallies. The money that is churned out during the event is laudable and is fitting for the top-billed players of the sport. The league serves the purpose of supporting and promoting new talent as well as an accepting place for retired or sidelined players to come sharpen their talents and get back into the circuit and steal some more thunder!
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