Saina hails IBL
Saina Nehwal has been demonstrating that she is the player to beat in the ongoing Indian Badminton League (IBL). Having notched up impressive wins in all the matches that Hyderabad Hotshots has played till date, the Icon player appeared rather relaxed at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy Sunday afternoon.
Hyderabad: Saina Nehwal has been demonstrating that she is the player to beat in the ongoing Indian Badminton League (IBL). Having notched up impressive wins in all the matches that Hyderabad Hotshots has played till date, the Icon player appeared rather relaxed at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy Sunday afternoon.
In an interaction with the media ahead of Tuesday’s final league showdown with Banga Beats, Saina not only quelled the gathering storm over her remarks on the sport’s living legend, Taufik Hidayat but also reiterated that China was far ahead of others.
She said that the arrival of shuttlers from other nations was a welcome development because it provided vibrancy. However, she contended that China, thanks to the avowed system that has been in place, would remain formidable for several years to come. She said it has been noticed that players from other countries win around four or five important titles but fail to sustain the wining tempo for longer durations.
Nehwal said that the IBL was proving to be a phenomenal success both in terms of spectator support and viewership, which augured well in the long run. ‘Each team has had some good wins. Individual players have been doing well. On that count, they have provided a rich fare to the League. I am sure that the IBL will get better in the next edition,’ she said.
On the controversy surrounding the tweet over Hidayat, she said it had been blown out of proportion. “Back home he is the Shah Rukh Khan. By habit, I hold every player in the highest regard and so it is with my idol, who has been an excellent motivator for all of us with Hyderabad.’ Meanwhile, Potluri V Prasad, co-owner of Hyderabad Hotshots, oozed with confidence that IBL would only get better by the time the next edition gets unfolded.
‘I can add that we have been floored by the massive response at each venue. It has been a wonderful experience for me, as one who took to the sport way back in Vijayawada. I am sure that this has been a learning experience for each of us, including the administrators and players. We will work on ways and means to further streamline the league. There is a possibility that we will work on a revised time schedule,’ he said. Meanwhile, Hotshots play in their backyard on Tuesday when they take on Banga Beats. Hyderabad will also host the second semifinal on August 28.
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