KBL to kick off on November 5

Badminton

The two-week long KBL will begin here on November 5, with the final tentatively scheduled for November 19. Former National champion and Olympian U Vimal Kumar, the event's brand ambassador, officially launched the KBL at the KBA.

“I have the privilege of officially launching the KBL. It’s a great initiative,” said Vimal at a press meet also attended by KBL chairman Thomas Kunnath, organising secretary Vijay Lancy and KBA secretary NC Sudhir.

The cream of the State's shuttlers will get a chance to showcase their talent, with eight franchisees set to be auctioned on October 17. The prize money will be announced on October 16.

The minimum franchisee bidding amount is set at Rs 2.5 lakh for a period of three years while teams can spend between Rs 2.5 and 3 lakh for the players’ auction. The players will be auctioned every year.

Each team will comprise 16 players — the playing seven, three standbys, four juniors and two former players.

The tournament will follow the best of five format with two men’s singles, one women’s singles, one men’s doubles and one mixed doubles. The players' auction will be held on October 24.

The eight teams will be divided into two groups of four each in the league-cum-knockout format. The rankings after the league matches will decide the quarterfinal draw. A total of 19 matches will be played in the KBL.

Top shuttlers

Among the top shuttlers who have confirmed their participation are National champion Arvind Bhat, Commonwealth Games women’s doubles gold medallist Ashwini Ponnappa and Anup Sridhar.

Organisers said apart from the KBA, top Bangalore clubs will also get a chance to host matches while the KBL spreading out to other districts will depend on the auction.
“If there are teams from other districts, the Karnataka Badminton League will be played there also,” said Kunnath.

The organisers are also planning a series of promotional event with inter-club, inter-school and corporate tournaments scheduled to be held next month at various venues in the city.

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