New Delhi, Nov 27: As the auctions for the upcoming season of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) concluded in New Delhi, Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu expressed her happiness with the purchases she made.
The 32-year-old actor believes her team looks pretty balanced and Pune 7 Aces, who finished fifth in the last season, are going to put up an improved show in the next season.
"We have a very good team led by world champion Hendra Setiawan, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Chris Adcock and our Indian superstar Chirag Shetty. With Rituparna Das, Mithun Manjunath and Kuhoo Garg we have a sprightly mix of youth and experience, which makes our team pretty balanced," said Taapsee Pannu.
Taapsee Pannu became the latest celebrity in the country to co-own a sports franchise in the country. But instead of investing in Cricket, Football, or a Kabaddi franchise, the actor invested in badminton. The Delhi-born actor told media persons that her second season at the PBL will be less nerve-wracking and more exciting for her.
"The upcoming season will be less nerve-wracking than the last season because the previous one was my debut season. This time I know a little bit more (about the tournament), the experience helps a little bit. So yes, I am more excited and less nervous ahead of the season and we have a decent team. Everyone has more or less similar standards in terms of the team so it's going to be a really good competition to see on the court," she stated.
When asked about her and her team's plans for the next season, she said, "Of course, everyone wants to win otherwise why do we take part. It's as simple as that. But yeah along with that, my funda with my team was and will always be: we need to have fun while we are playing. This is a format which lets you have fun as a team, you are not playing an individual sport here, its a team sport. If everyone wins and works well together, that's how we win. So that's what makes it even more fun. I had great fun with my team last time. I think I have wonderful memories with my team and I am hoping to make more this season."
When asked about the absence of marquee players like Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, the actor said the fans will get to see more talented players.
"You'll see more new players, if not them. Yes, they might not be at their level, but you know they are younger and are probably getting a chance to play in this league. So I think the competition standard will be high and that's what matters. Yes, we won't see are regular hero faces but they'll come back next year. They need to prepare for the Olympics and we understand their priority but the thing is you're gonna enjoy badminton as much because the teams are more or less of the same standard. So they're gonna have a really tough fight and that's what makes the game interesting.
Asked about her thoughts on retaining star India doubles shuttler Chirag Shetty in her franchise, she said, "I am very happy to retain Chirag. Last year when I took Chirag and Lashkya (Sen) in my team they were relatively new and were just coming up and I could see that their graph is going to get higher (in the coming months). That's why I took them both last year so that I could retain at least one and I am happy I could. They've performed so well in the last one year so I am really glad to have got Chirag back. He's our Instagram king in the team (laughs). So I am looking forward to it."
The fifth season of PBL, organised by Sportzlive under the aegis of Badminton Association of India, will kick off on January 20 and will continue till February 9 with the matches to be played in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Lucknow.