Five Indian players, including Olympic Games bronze medalist Saina Nehwal, were announced as the icon players of five of the six city-based franchise outfits in the $1 million prize money Indian Badminton League (IBL), to be held next year.
Apart from Saina, whose base price has been fixed at $50,000, London Games men's singles quarter finalist Parupalli Kashyap, world bronze medal winning women's pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa and up-and-coming PV Sindhu were named as the team icons at the launch of the cash-rich League here.
The IBL, which is a joint initiative of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and its commercial partner Sporty Solutionz Private Ltd, is to be held in six cities across the country from June 24 to July 11, 2013, and has the blessings of the world body, BWF, which has provided it a clear window in the annual calendar, organisers said.
Eight cities - Delhi, Nagpur, Pune, Mumbai, Lucknow, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore - have been shortlisted for the city-based franchises and six of them would be up for open sales in the first year with Rs 3.5 crore as the base price.
Each team will have the liberty to have up to four foreign players with two available to play in the best-of-five ties like in Sudirman Cup.