Thursday, March 24, 2011

MBL - Maharashtra Badminton League

Badminton in Maharashtra, and possibly in India, is all set to get a big positive jumpstart thanks to the all-new MBL (Maharashtra Badminton League) that is scheduled to be played over 3 weekends starting from 7-May-2011. MBL is being organized on the lines of the mega-event in cricket the IPL (the Indian Premier League), with the format being kept similar to that of the Sudirman Cup in badminton.

The MBL was launched in Pune recently, a city that has fast become one of the most happening places on the Indian badminton scene, with many of the city's badminton players having made a big mark at the national and international levels.

The premier badminton league started off with an auction of the 79 best badminton players of Maharashtra, and this is probably the first time in the history of the game in India, that some good money has started flowing in to the next rung of players, who are looking to emulate the success of their compatriot Saina Nehwal.

Jishnu Sanyal, star doubles player, attracted the maximum bid at the auction which was of Rs 81,000, followed by Akshay Dewalkar, another star international doubles player. This amount is nothing compared to the huge sums of money in Cricket, but still its considerable money for those who are into badminton. The MBL will be conducted over a period of 3 weekends, and Rs.81000 for 6 days does seem like a good deal for the badminton players.

Reigning National Badminton Champion, Aditi Mutatkar of Pune, who won the Nationals at Rohtak this year (and also a Maruti SX4 as the prize) and Arundhati Pantwane of Nagpur who is the reigning National Games badminton champion having won the gold medal at Ranchi this year, earned the highest bids for the women. They will be getting Rs. 55,000 each for their participation.

The Amanora Maharashtra Badminton League (MBL) will be held only on Saturdays and Sundays, and will begin on the 7th May-2011 at the WIE Sports Complex, at Pune. The next weekend on 14-May-2011 the tournament will be held at the Navi Mumbai Sports Complex, in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.

The Maharashtra Badminton League is being organized by the Haveli Taluka Badminton Association under the aegis of the State Association, with support from badminton associations of Pune and Thane. It will have six teams, with each team owner having bid for their pick from the 79 players available. For the bidding process, each team had a maximum amount of Rs. 2.5 lakh, and they could bid for the players who were classified into A, B, and C categories with minimum bids for these categories being kept at Rs. 30000, Rs. 25000, and Rs. 15000 respectively.

National champion Aditi Mutatkar was quite happy with the developments, DNA reported. “It’s a big surprise,” she said. “I never thought this would happen during my career. It will have huge significance. It can attract juniors. This shows that people are coming forward to support badminton. The money might go up the next year, and perhaps this will even evolve into a national league.”

Jain Irrigation, Jalgaon team owners of the team "Fabulous Falcons" made the highest bid of Rs. 81000 for Jishnu Sanyal, while Aditi Mutatkar was bought by Sensational Skylarks (Builders Combine and Radiant Sports Management, Pune), and Arundhati was picked up by Inspiring Eagles (Pratham Motors, Pune).
Uday Sane, reputed coach, international umpire, and secretary of the organising committee of MBL, was also pleased that the value of badminton is going up.

In another very interesting development, six celebrity Marathi actresses have been roped in as brand ambassadors: Bhargavi Chirmule, Rujuta Deshmukh, Kranti Redkar, Kadambari Kadam, Sonali Khare, and Saee Tamhankar. These actresses have reached the hearts of people in the homes of Maharashtra through their work in television and films, and having them as brand ambassadors will certainly boost the interest and awareness of people in Maharashtra for the sport of badminton.

Those responsible for the league are Aniruddha Deshpande, chairman of the organising committee (MBL), Pradeep Gandhe, president of MBA, Uday Sane, secretary of the organising committee and Avinash Jadhav, vice president, Haveli Taluka Badminton Association.

The six teams who will be participating in MBL for the trophy are named as the Fabulous Falcons, Daring Doves, Gorgeous Gannets, Inspiring Eagles, Flamboyant Flamingos, and Sensational Skylarks.

Related Articles:

MBL Team Composition
MBL off to a flying start - Daring Doves win first encounter

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