PBL franchise Bengaluru Top Guns launched

Bengaluru, Dec 22 (IANS) The Bengaluru franchise of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) – Top Guns – launched their team here on Tuesday.

Unveiling their logo, the Top Guns also revealed their squad consisting eight male and two female shuttlers with India Open winner Kidambi Srikanth captaining the side.

Srikanth will also be the marquee player of the team consisting of local girl Ashwini Ponnappa, Suo Di, Sameer Verma, Anand Pawar, Joachim Fischer Nielsen, Robert Blair, Khim Wah Lim, Hoon Thiem How and B. Sumeeth Reddy.

“This team, with its mix of world-class players, is the perfect opportunity for me to observe and share insights about the game with my teammates. Having played in this format before, I am looking forward to being a part of the Bengaluru Top Guns,” Srikanth said.

“We have a very balanced squad and the new format is sure to bring out the best in our players. It is also a privilege for me to represent this city as it has been a place close to my heart both personally and professionally.”

PBL begins in Mumbai on January 2, 2016, and will travel to Hyderabad, New Delhi, Lucknow and Chennai, before coming to Bengaluru. The semi-finals will also be held here and in Hyderabad before the final in New Delhi on January 17.

“With the league being held in January, it will help set the tone of the season and help all of us begin the year on a great note. We have a perfect mix of youth and experience which will definitely be a differential factor between us and other teams,” said 2011 World Championship bronze medallist Ashwini.

“For me personally, having previously played a similar format with Joachim will add to my game and boost our chances of doing better than the rest. Also with such exceptional players like Sameer and Srikanth will surely help us to soar, come New Year. I am very excited to be playing for my home team and looking forward to the home support that will definitely be strong.”

The format will include two men’s singles fixtures, a women’s singles, a men’s doubles and a mixed doubles contest each. Each game will be a race to 15 points with a sudden death point to decide the result of the contest at 14-all.

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