New Delhi, Aug 13: History will be created tomorrow (August 14) when India's first ever badminton league - Indian Badminton League (IBL) takes flight here with Krrish Delhi Smashers and Pune Pistons facing off in the opener from 8PM IST at DDA Badminton & Squash Stadium (Siri Fort).
The build up to IBL has had its share of controversies with the country's top doubles women's players Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa unhappy over slashing of their base prices in the auction.
But as both players and officials have left those disappointments behind, it is time for the action to unfold on the court. The league will be officially declared open at an opening ceremony tomorrow at 6.30PM.
Here are 10 facts who need to know about India's newest league
# Total prize money of IBL is $1 million. This is badminton's richest tournament in the world, according to the organisers. All matches will be telecast Live on ESPN and Star Sports 2, who are the official broadcasters
# Each franchise will comprise 11 players (4 foreign, 6 Indians, 1 junior Indian)
# 5 matches to be played per tie - 2 men's singles, one each of women's singles, men's doubles and mixed doubles
# No two-point difference to decide a game. Whoever reaches 21 points is the winner. The third and deciding game will be for 11 points only
# 1-minute break after 7th and 14th points in the first 2 games and after the 6th point in third and final game
# Top 4 teams make the semi-finals (August 28 and 29). Final is on August 31
# There are 6 icon players - Lee Chong Wei (Mumbai Masters), Saina Nehwal (Hyderabad Hotshots), P Kashyap (Banga Beats), PV Sindhu (Awadhe Warriors), Jwala Gutta (Krrish Delhi Smashers) and Ashwini Ponnappa (Pune Pistons)
# Costliest player of IBL - Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, bought at $135,000
# Owners - Lucknow: Sahara Group; Bangalore: BOP Group; Delhi: Krrish Group; Hyderabad: PVP Group; Mumbai: Sunil Gavaskar, Nagarjuna and V Chamundeshwarnath; Pune: Burman family