Finally, we have our champions for the first season of Indian Badminton League and it’s none other than Hyderabad Hotshots. They were considered as the favourite prior to the tournament and they did everything to prove that right. The final match was played at Mumbai and Hyderabad Hotshots won the game by 3 – 1. The game ended in just four matches. Awadhe Warriors started with a victory in the very match i.e., Men’s Singles. But, then it was the turn of Saina Nehwal and she did it again for her team. She won against P.V. Sindhu in almost a one sided game. She remained unbeaten in the whole tournament and for this she was declared as the Player of the Tournament. After this win, Hyderabad Hotshots never looked back and continued on their winning streak for the next two games. For the third game i.e., Men’s Mixed, it was Goh V Shem and Wah Lim Khim from Hyderabad Hotshots against Markis Kido and Mathias Boe from Awadhe Warriors. For this match, Wah Lim Khim was declared as the Vodafone Player of the Tie and the last award of the day was given to Vladimir Ivanov of Mumbai Masters as the power smasher of the tournament. For the last match of Indian Badminton League, it was between Ajay Jayaram and R M V Guru Sai Dutt. It was a really nice strategy by Hyderabad Hotshots by not sending Ajay Jayaram against K Srikanth in the first game and it worked well for them.
For winning the tournament, Hyderabad Hotshots received a cheque of 3.25 cr whereas Awadhe Warriors got a cheque of 1.75 cr for coming second in the tournament. In our previews as well as reviews, we have always considered Awadhe Warriors to be strong on papers but they have proved it with their long journey in this league.
Now, talking about the success of Indian Badminton League, it came as a surprise package for Badminton fans in a country like India, where Cricket is next to god for them. In the starting, Indian Badminton League has to face a lot of criticism along with the delays and many more things. The biggest controversy happened when it was compared to Indian Premier League, but in spite of having a similar format; it drew the attention of the people. The stadium remained completely packed for almost every game. With the huge success of Indian Badminton League season – 1, it is expected that the number teams are likely to increase by the next season. In 2014, it will be eight to nine teams in spite of six. Talking from the point of view of players, they have also earned a huge amount of money. Every team selected ten players and the max 7 players played in a game or in many games it was only 6. So, by not even participating in a single game they managed to get a huge amount of money.
We will be waiting for the next season of Indian Badminton League. Till then, keep playing, keep watching and keep reading about Badminton!