The sixth edition of Premier Badminton League has been postponed to next year due to COVID-19 pandemic keeping all the security and safety procedure in mind. The league which is touted as one of the highest prize money badminton tournaments in the world was supposed to be held in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.
However, SportzLive, the official license holder of the league under the aegis of the Badminton Association of India decided to postpone the event due to the prevailing conditions. The organizers are confident that this league will return next year as majority of the sports tournaments are resuming under strict health protocol.
“We have been lucky to get a window in December-January for last five years but COVID has turned life upside down. International travel is also banned till December 31 so that is also a problem. We have to think about players safety in these times,” Prasad Mangipudi, MD, SportzLive, said.
The league consist of seven teams who compete in a home and away format. The last edition was held between January 20 to February 9, 2020, across five cities. Also, the organizers are hopeful that International restrictions will be eased and things will get better next year with the arrival of vaccines.
“This year’s edition would have happened in cities like Pune, Mumbai, Delhi which are most hit. Also, there is Asia leg in January and then the Olympic qualifiers but we are hoping to host the event between the Olympics and the end of the last qualifying tournament in May.
“Then we can get some key players, including the Tokyo-bound players, who may take this event as a match practice ahead of the Games as you have guaranteed 5-6 matches in this event.
“But we have to wait and watch, can’t say anything right now. Hoping once we have a vaccine in January-February, things will get clear and we will be able to lock a date”
Denmark Open is the only international event that took place in October this year amid COVID-19. However England Open will take place in March 2021. Majority of the tournaments has been rescheduled to next year due to deadly coronavirus which has brought entire world to a standstill as the Asia Open I and II will be held between January 12 to January 24 respectively and the BWF World Tour Finals is scheduled from January 27th 2021.
— PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) November 18, 2020
The inaugural season of PBL was held from January 2nd to 17th 2016 which was won by Delhi Dashers who defeated Mumbai Rockets to clinch the title. The second season started from 22nd December 2016 came to an end on 14th January 2017 where Chennai Smashers led by PV Sindhu clinched the title in the finals for his franchise. The third, fourth and fifth edition was won by Hyderabad Hunters followed by Bengaluru Raptors who won the title twice by becoming the first Franchise in PBL history to achieve this feat.