The Badminton Association of India (BAI) have decided to go ahead with the second edition of the IBL as a franchise based one which is going to be held from 2nd January 2016 to 17th January 2016.
BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta believes franchises and players are more excited because the tournament is being organised directly by the association.
The association has already severed its ties with sports marketing firm Sporty Solutionz, who held the rights of the league for 10 years.
“The matter with Sporty has already been settled in court. We had given them sufficient time to furnish the bank guarantee of Rs 50 crore which they failed. I am sure that court will understand that BAI holds all rights regarding the sport of badminton in this country. Anyone can go to court in this country , we’ll deal with the situation if it crops up,” Das Gupta said here on Thursday .
The president said that the association had already finalised some of the franchisee names who are the same from the first edition and new additions too this year.
IBL 2nd Edition will be held across six cities, Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.
“We are only replacing Pune with Chennai this time because we don’t want the league to be held in two cities in the same state. The players will be getting more money this year because we are planning to increase the salary from the existing Rs 1.5 crore. The franchise owners are already in talks with some Bollywood celebrities, offering them sweat equity in the teams. These celebrities will increase the glamour quotient of the league,” he said.
“The BAI will take bank guarantee from all the franchise owners equivalent to the player salaries in their team. If the players are not paid on time, the BAI can step in,” the president said.
Asked why the BAI took two years to revive the IBL, Das Gupta said, “The BWF calendar only has two windows in January and August. After hosting the first tournament in August in 2013, we didn’t want to organise one in January next year and then August of 2014 wasn’t available because we already had the Commonwealth Games scheduled then. Now for the purpose of having continuity with the league, we have decided to organise it in the January window.”
The one thing the league was missing back in 2013 was Chinese star power and BAI is confident that Asian powerhouses will be well represented in the second edition. “We have spoken to the Chinese federation as well as some of the players directly. The players are keen on participating and we should see some of them in IBL-2,” the president said.