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Ready or not as IBL hits Mumbai

other Updated: Aug 19, 2013 00:39 IST
Kushal Phatarpekar
Kushal Phatarpekar
Hindustan Times
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The Indian Badminton League (IBL) bandwagon arrived in Mumbai on Sunday sans the pomp one would associate with an event touted to possess the razzmatazz of its cricketing counterpart.

The preparations have left a lot to be desired as the venue -- the National Sports Club of India -- is still being spruced up with even the makeshift court yet to be laid.

A day before the league begins in the financial capital the organisers were still at work, constructing the makeshift court and stands at the multi-purpose indoor complex.

Venue manager, Sanket Shetty, said possession of the venue was acquired on August 16, as a fund-raiser for the Uttarakhand flood victims was held here the day before.

The delay has meant that the arena is not up to the standards one would associate with a tournament that includes top badminton players of the world.

“Due to the delay in getting the venue, our organising has suffered. But since August 16 we have been working round the clock and are confident of the venue being up and running by Monday,” said Shetty.

The lack of preparedness meant players could not practice on the main court and had to make do with the practice courts.

However, the organisers stayed confident. “We will ensure that the players get to practice on the main court on Monday morning so that they get a feel of the arena,” assured an IBL official.

India coach Pullela Gopichand, who is also a part of the IBL governing council said, “We have seen such conditions before; even in the Olympics we saw makeshift courts being prepared a day before the event. Usually, it is sorted out when the matches kick off.”