The sixth-season of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) has been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The league, which is amongst one of the highest prize money badminton tournaments in the world and has witnessed participation of Top-10 players along with thrilling badminton action for the past 5 years, was initially scheduled to take place in the last week of December. However, now fresh dates are being worked in for early next year.
The decision to postpone the Season 6 was taken by SportzLive—the official license holder of the league under the aegis of the national sports federation—in consultation with Badminton Association of India (BAI) owing to international travel restrictions which are still in place as per issued guidelines. Also, safety of all players and stakeholders involved is of prime concern. However, with the sporting world gradually returning on track, the organisers are keen to roll out the season next year.
“The usual window for PBL is December end – January. This year, as the world deals with the Covid-19 pandemic we have been monitoring the situation closely. Health & Safety of all is of paramount importance, hence, carefully considering all guidelines, protocols and commitments, and post discussions with BAI, we have decided to rework fresh dates for 2021,” said Prasad Mangipudi, MD, SportzLive.
The PBL has provided a strong platform for all shuttlers to not just showcase their skills but also financially assisted in their career development. For the young Indian shuttlers, it has given an opportunity to play alongside the world’s top players, which has resulted in the growth of badminton in the country over the last five years.
“With the cases on the rise again and the second wave hitting the country, it is pertinent that we adhere to the COVID-19 advisory issued by the Health Ministry. However, with the recent announcement of the vaccine, we are optimistic that the economy shall improve and things shall return to normalcy including international travel soon. The league meanwhile plans to introduce grassroots as well as other badminton activities in order to bring back the badminton actions ahead of the next season,” Mangipudi further added.
PBL is one of the most sought-after global badminton leagues having six-franchise based teams are played in a home and away format.