PVP Group buys IBL's Hyderabad franchise

Bangalore, June 19 (IANS) Hyderabad-based PVP Group Wednesday became the first franchise of the proposed $1 million Indian Badminton League (IBL).

PVP Group chairman Prasad V. Potluri said: "We are extremely delighted with our association with the Indian Badminton League. PVP Group aims to utilise this platform and will ensure that badminton in India grows and continues to produce world champions.

"Badminton has brought huge laurels for India in the past and is again capturing the imagination of the masses through the achievements of stars like Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa and others."

Speaking on PVP's successful bid to own the Hyderabad Hotshots franchise, Ashish Chadha, CEO of Sporty Solutionz, the commercial partner for IBL, said: "Badminton as a sport brings a lot of positivity today and we hope the IBL will create a platform that will inspire and fire the imagination of millions of youth in the country.

"We are proud to be associated with PVP Group and them coming on board as the owners of Hyderabad Hotshots. They bring enormous clout in the entertainment industry and we hope it will boost our efforts to support and promote badminton in a zany and exciting format."

Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Akhilesh Das Gupta said: "We welcome Hyderabad-based PVP Group into the badminton family. Hyderabad deserves a great franchise as they are one of the leading nurseries for badminton in India. With their support, Hyderabad Hotshots can aspire to win the IBL title in the inaugural year."

The IBL is set to launch Aug 14 this year and will feature six franchises. Each franchise will host a two-day leg and the league will showcase 90 matches over 18 days. The matches will be held during late afternoon and evening to coincide with prime time television and providing a convenient time for the stadium audience.

The top four franchises will clash in the semi-finals and the winners will meet in the final Aug 31, which will be played in Mumbai.

The IBL will also run the biggest school championship for badminton in India, the Shuttle Express, which is expected to touch five lakh children in six major cities while it offers Rs.10 lakh as prize money besides an opportunity to train at the Pullela Gopichand Academy.

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