The much-anticipated Premier Badminton League is back, and it brings back the intensity, rivalries, and buzz among badminton enthusiasts. The fifth edition of the action-packed tournament is all set to get underway on January 20 next year, and like everyone, we can’t keep calm! As many as 154 players were part of the auctions held on Tuesday, with the biggest stars in Saina Nehwal, Carolina Marin, Viktor Axelsen, and Kidambi Srikanth missing out on all the action. Despite the misses, this season promises to be better than ever before with a host of new teams and coaches joining the tournament.
With rising shuttlers Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Lakshya Sen making waves, star shuttlers P V Sindhu and Tai Tzu Ying featured as the biggest names to have been roped in for a whopping sum of Rs 77 lakh. Pune 7 Aces was listed as a new franchise of the league, making the league a nine-team sporting event from this season. That the team is owned by one of the most popular actresses of B-Town Taapsee Pannu renders it even more exciting. Excited about her team's strategy for a new season, she told The Bridge Hindi, “I am very excited about the new season of the league. It was my debut last season. I did not know much about it, but this time I know more than before. Speaking about my team, it definitely looks stronger than ever. I am sure Pune Seven Aces will do even better than before.”
Last year, Taapsee became the latest Bollywood actor to invest in a sports franchise. When asked whether her vision will see success in the long run, Taapsee affirmed, “Like every other team, we too will come out winning, else why would we even participate? The team does not want to perform under pressure. When you know more, you should not think much and let it run on its own. The result will be in your favour. For my part, I will try to double up the team’s enthusiasm as and when I can.”
Focussed on making her venture successful, Taapsee explained how she was always very passionate towards the sport and that she has played badminton in her early days. Citing the need for new additions in the team to ensure better performance, Taapsee said, “Last season, we had both Chirag Shetty and Lakshya Sen in the team. They were emerging players then. But now it is a different scenario. The level of competition has increased. Hence, I believe that one of these two players can be retained by the team. Chirag is magnificent. Hopefully, with players like him around, the team will showcase its best performance ever.” Chirag Shetty has been roped in by Pune for Rs 15.57 lakh.