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Volume 6 No. 212
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Official Says Indian Badminton League Franchises Should Break Even In Four Years

The inaugural edition of the $1M Indian Badminton League, to be held from Aug.14-31 with some of the biggest names in the world stage, "will mark a watershed moment in Indian sport in its attempt to break free of the strangehold of cricket," according to Gautam Bhattacharyya of GULF NEWS. With six city-based franchises, a high-profile auction late last month and sustained media blitz, "the hype has been certainly up to the mark." The theme song of the IBL -- "Net lagao, pyar barhao" (put up the net, spread the cheer), which keeps coming back in TV spots -- "has already become quite a hit" -- making the cricket-crazy Indians warm up to the anticipation of watching the likes of men’s world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei or Saina Nehwal in action. There "will be a fair presence of the Bollywood quotient as well, though the event managers are not ready to commit themselves on it." Manish Kumar, VP of Sporty Solutionz, who are co-hosting the event with the Badminton Association of India, "admits to having butterflies in the stomach." Kumar: "The sport may not be as big as cricket or football, but there is a certain freshness about it" (GULF NEWS, 8/11).