HYDERABAD: There will be a dash of glamour and celebrity presence in the Indian Badminton League. The consortium of Sunil Gavaskar, Tollywood actor Nagarjuna and former manager of the Indian cricket team Vankina Chamundeswaranath (better known as Chamundi) have bagged the Mumbai Masters, the last of the six teams yet to be announced.
TOI had reported on January 29 that an Indian cricketer was interested in buying an IBL team. The deal was finalized on Wednesday. Gavaskar will also be the brand ambassador of the team.
Confirming this, Chamundi said both Gavaskar and Nagarjuna are excited to become the owners of a badminton team. “We have been planning this for a while. We are excited to be finally part of this league. Gavaskar and Nagarjuna are big fans of badminton and Sunny loves to play the game. We are all looking forward to have a fantastic tournament next month,” Chamundi told TOI.
Chamundi, who is also the first sponsor of Saina Nehwal, said the owners are keen on getting India’s top player in their team. “The auction is just a couple of days away and we would like to have our best player in the team. With not much of cricket action next month I am confident Gavaskar would take keen interest in the tournament. Moreover, the presence of Nagarjuna will make our team popular even in South India,” Chamundi, former captain of the Andhra Ranji team, said.
Incidentally, Nagarjuna is also the co-owner of the Mahi Racing team along with Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The IBL will be held between August 14 and 31. Six city-based teams — Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore — will be part of the league. Several top players from the world are expected to be part of the league which will be held in the Sudirman Cup format.
Burman family of Dabur Group buys Pune franchise
NEW DELHI: The Burman family, promoters of Dabur Group, has bought the Pune Franchise. Burman family — which forayed into the field of sports with Indian Premier League and followed it up with the Hockey India League, successfully bid and bagged the ‘Pune Pistons’, one of the six franchises in the $1-million IBL.
“Having been actively involved in league sports in the country, we are elated to contribute towards the rise of IBL,” said Dabur Group Director Mohit Burman. “The conceptualisation and design of this League is really interesting and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” he added.