Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar along with actor Akkineni Nagarjuna and former manager of the Indian cricket team V Chamundeshwarnath has bought the Mumbai franchise of the Indian Badminton League (IBL).
"I am proud to be associated with badminton which I've always admired and passionately followed and played a bit as a fan. The sport has produced legends and recorded many milestones for India and I hope my association with the Indian Badminton League proves to be a worthy contribution to the great sport of badminton," Gavaskar said in a release.
Gavaskar will also act as the brand ambassador of Mumbai Masters.
The USD 1 million IBL scheduled Aug 14-31 will hold its players` auction in New Delhi on July 21.
More than 150 players are expected to go under the hammer at the auction for 66 slots for the six teams: Hyderabad HotShots (Hyderabad), Karnataka Kings (Bangalore), Lucknow Warriors (Lucknow), Mumbai Masters (Mumbai), Pune Vijetas (Pune) and Rajdhani Smashers (Delhi). Each franchise can feature 11 players, with a maximum of four foreign shuttlers and one Under-19 player from their catchment area.
There will be six icon players starting with a base price of UASD 50,000, for whom franchisees will bid from draw of lots. Indian stars Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa, Parupalli Kashyap and P.V. Sindhu will have icon status while a leading foreign star will be the sixth icon player.
The IBL kicks off from Aug 14 when the Hyderabad Hotshots take on Karnataka Kings. Each franchise will host a two-day leg and the league will have a total of 90 matches. The top four franchisees will clash in the semi-finals and the winners will meet in the final on Aug 31 in Mumbai.
With Agency inputs