Sachin Tendulkar cheering the world's top shuttlers from the VIP stands could become a reality as the master blaster has "shown his willingness" to buy the Mumbai Masters franchise in the Indian Badminton League (IBL).
Sources said Tendulkar would be the key promoter in the franchise. "The deal is about to be signed. An official confirmation will be made soon," said a top official of the Badminton Association of India on condition of anonymity.
"We have also finalised the owners of four more franchises," he added.
IBL's first edition will feature Mumbai Masters, Pune Vijetas, Rajdhani Smashers, Karnataka Kings, Lucknow Warriors and Hyderabad Hotshots (bought by the PVP Group recently for an undisclosed sum).
The auction of players will begin on June 30.
The tournament will start on August 14 and carry with it a $1 million cash prize with the final match taking place in Mumbai on August 31.
To give a boost to the event, badminton icons, like Saina Nehwal and Pullela Gopichand will be visiting schools across India from July 12 to 14.