Top Indian shuttlers involved
Apart from the likes of Sindhu, Sai Praneeth, Satwiksairaj and Shetty, Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy will also be looking to mesmerize spectators as will the in-form Sourabh Verma and Parupalli Kashyap.
Indian Rising stars
Apart from Lakshya, who has claimed four titles this season, rising stars Gayatri Gopichand, Ashmita Chaliha and Rituparna Panda will also be making their PBL debut this season among the promising talent to watch out for in this pan-India badminton extravaganza to be held from January 20, 2020 to February 9, 2020.
Apart from women's world no.1 Tai Tzu Ting, Indonesia's men's doubles world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, who took Bengaluru Raptors to the title last season, will be spearheading the 80 foreign players this season. Doubles superstar Lee Yong Dae will be returning as well along with singles exponents, Beiwen Zhang and Michelle Li.
The fifth season will also see first-timers in men's singles World No. 69 Kazumasa Sakai from Japan and Huang Jia Hong from China, with the latter being accompanied by his compatriot PBL regular Tian Houwei.
"It is not only the big names but many underdogs have sprung up in each season who have shown exceptional performances to guide their team to victory. This prompted us to introduce trading policy after discussing with the team owners," said Atul Pande, Managing Director of Sportzlive.
"A minimum of two transactions will be allowed per team in trading that will be effective 15 days after the end of the auction and will get over 10 days before the league kicks off," he further added.
Purse for auction
While each franchise will have a purse of INR 2 crore with not exceeding INR 77 lakh for each player, the teams will comprise a maximum of 6 foreign players and a minimum of 3 female shuttlers in a squad of not more than 11.
The PBL format
The format of the upcoming edition of the league remains the same with each tie consisting of five matches - two Men Singles Matches, one Women Singles Match, one Men Doubles Match and one Mixed Doubles Match.
"This season has been special for Indian badminton with some historic performances coming India's way. It will be a treat for fans of the sport to watch these champions live on the court and on television as the fifth season takes off," said Prasad Mangipudi, Executive Director of Sportzlive.
Teams, venues and where to watch season 5
The 21-day event will witness seven teams- Awadhe Warriors (Lucknow), Bengaluru Raptors (Bengaluru), Mumbai Rockets (Mumbai), Hyderabad Hunters (Hyderabad), Chennai Superstarz (Chennai), North Eastern Warriors (North East) and Pune 7 Aces (Pune) slug it out for a prize purse of INR 6 crore as the Season 5 matches will be played in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Lucknow.
The PBL Season 5 would be telecast Live on Star Sports and streamed live on Hotstar. Live updates will be posted on Premier Badminton League social media handles.
PBL 5 - At a Glance
Total number of Teams: 7
Total number of Venues: 4 (Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Chennai)
Total number of players: 154
Total number of Indians: 74
Total number of foreigners: 80
Auction purse for each Team: INR 2 crore
Player cap: INR 77 lakhs
Minimum Players per Team: 9
Maximum Players per Team: 11
Maximum Number of Foreign Players per Team: 6
Minimum Number of female shuttlers per Team: 3
Total Prize Money: INR 6 crores
Broadcaster: Star Sports/Hotstar