Bengaluru, November 8: Ladies and gentlemen! It's time to brace for some quality badminton action. The second edition of the Indiranagar Club Badminton League (IBL 2018) is upon us and the action will kick in with the players' auction on Sunday (November 11).
However, the tournament proper will start on November 30, culminating on December 8. But this year the event will be bigger - 150 players will be seen in action across five teams, a notable leap from last year's numbers - 116 players and four teams. Each of the teams will have 30 players and they will compete in the men's, women's and children's categories.
"Since Bengaluru has a formidable tradition of badminton, we've expected a good turnout. We were never disappointed in the opening year (2017) itself and this time we had to limit the entry to 150 because it's tough to house more players than that in the club premises. And even that number was reached very soon," said Neeraj Mishra, Commissioner of this edition of the Indiranagar Club Badminton League.
Of course, the competitive element is very much inherent but Kalyan Mohan, chairperson of IBL 2018 said the tournament is also an opportunity to foster camaraderie. "There is no dearth of competitiveness once the players step inside of the court. But beyond that desire to win, we also encourage the participants to develop a fine relation with each other," he said. Sports has, perhaps, always been the best vehicle to sow the seeds of good relation then!
The Indiranagar Club Badminton League has also developed as a business model over the year, evidenced by the number of premium sponsors.
The IBL 2018 has attracted several marquee sponsors - Gina Group, Prima Diagnostics, Indiranagar Club, Titan, Taj Group of Hotels, English Brewing Company, Yonex are the major sponsors - who have come forward with contributions in cash and kind. Courtesy the magnanimity of these sponsors, the tournament has been able to organize some very exciting prizes - team as well as individual - for the participants.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan once revealed the essence of his approach to the sport: "Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game." No other words better describe IBL too. So, let's take that racquet in our hands!