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Volume 6 No. 195
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Former World No.1 Padukone Says New IBL Good For Promotion Of Badminton In India

The Indian Badminton League, set to begin on Wednesday, "has generated a lot of buzz and excitement," according to Vinay Nayudu of the TIMES OF INDIA. There have been controversies too, "with players being miffed over not being informed about the reduction of their base prices at the auction." Former world No.1 badminton player PRAKASH PADUKONE, however, feels that "this was bound to happen with the League in its birth year." Padukone, who was India's first All England champion in '80, said that "players need to perform to prove their worth in the lucrative IBL."

Q: Do you think the IBL is a welcome development?
Prakash Padukone: IBL is definitely the best thing to have happened for Indian badminton, if administered properly. It will certainly add to the popularity of the sport besides bringing in more money for the players.

Q: Some players have expressed disappointment about the way auctions took place...
Padukone: There is bound to be disappointment as this is the inaugural year. Players are still not fully aware of the rules. Organizers on their part should also take the help of people who have organized similar events and make the League more transparent.

Q: Is the media gag on players ahead of the League a good sign? 
Padukone: If it is true, then it is both good and bad for IBL. Good because there will be no controversies but bad because players will not be able to give interviews to the press and express their views regarding the matches, which is not what the organizers would want (TIMES OF INDIA, 8/5).