New Delhi: The postponement of the players` auction might have raised some concerns about the upcoming Indian Badminton League but the organisers today claimed that top international players from 17 nations including China and Indonesia have agreed to release their top stars for the event.
Contrary to some of the media reports, the IBL organisers today claimed that they have already received confirmation from top shuttlers of Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and China in addition to 12 others for the July 19 auction.
According to an IBL release, world no.7 and the winner of the recent Singapore Open, Indonesia`s Tommy Sugiarto will lead the star parade from his country, along with Sony Kuncoro and Lindaweni Fanetri, who are men`s world No. 10 and women`s world No.11, respectively.
Hong Kong`s Hu Hyun, men`s world No.6, Japan`s Kenichi Tago, men`s world No.5 and women`s world No.10 Minatsu Mitani, and South Korea`s bronze medallist in the 2012 London Olympics, Lee Yong-Dae are the other top names who are expected to figure in the bidding process.
"For the record, seven men players in the top-10 world ranking and six players in the women`s top-10 rankings have confirmed with a total of 112 foreign players having signed up for IBL till now," Ashish Chadha, CEO Sporty Solutionz (the Commercial Partner to the IBL), said.
The IBL auction is expected to feature top-50 players in both men`s and women`s categories. Moreover, the current pool of 150 players for the auction is likely to increase as the last date for the entry is July 5.
The complete list of players will be announced a week before the auction after the list is first shared with the franchisees as per the IBL`s agreement with its partners.
IBL organisers also claimed that men`s world No.1 from Malaysia, Lee Chong Wei is set to go under the hammer at the IBL players auction.
While among the other top-10 men players who have confirmed are world No.4 Boonsak Ponsana from Thailand and Vietnam`s Tien Minh Nguyen.
"We have got a very positive response from both the sport bodies as well as the players from all the nations that we have approached. As was anticipated when we announced the League, it will witness world champions fighting it out for the title," said Akhilesh Das Gupta, Badminton Association of India President.