PBL: 11-point format will be challenging

"This is the kind of format which doesn’t give the players too much of time to think to plan out strategies, says Rio Olympics silver medallist P. V. Sindhu.

Star players at a promotional event of the PBL in Hyderabad.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Rio Olympics silver medallist and star player of Chennai Smashers, P.V. Sindhu, says that the introduction of the 11-point format in the second edition of the Premier Badminton League starting from January 1 here with a prize money of Rs. 6 crores (the final will be in Delhi) can well be challenging and exciting, too.

"This is the kind of format which doesn’t give the players too much of time to think to plan out strategies or come back, say, from a five-point deficit. Things happen so quickly. You have to be alert and focused from the first point itself,” Sindhu said at the promotional event of the PBL here on Friday.

“We (Chennai) have very good players like Chris Adcock who are can beat the best on their day. But again, in this League, all teams look strong and there is no room for complacency,” Sindhu said.

Referring to the BWF World Super Series starting next week where she will be making her debut in Dubai, Sindhu said, with the top eight in the world competing there, there is little choice for her but to be at the best. “The preparations are really good. Hope to finish off the year, which has been truly memorable with the biggest of them all being the Olympics silver, in style with a title triumph in Dubai,” she added.

On the Chinese strategy of late to field some of the junior players in the circuit, Sindhu reminded that even they are really good. “They are all fighters and never give up a match. We have to be on our toes as we will be up against the seniors,” she said.

For his part, Awadhe Warriors top men’s singles player, Kidambi Srikanth, who will be playing a major event after coming back from an injury, also agreed with Sindu’s opinion on the new points format.

“Personally, I must say that I am not completely fit. But good enough to stage my comeback with the PBL, which, I feel, is a major platform,” the former China Open champion said. “The 11-point format is a tricky one and I am playing in this for the first time. This makes it more important for the team to click as a unit in this League. With players like Saina Nehwal in my side, we know what is the task on hand and would definitely try to put up an improved performance,” he said.

National champion Sameer Verma, who made headlines with his recent Hong Kong Open final appearance, said the League will also give the junior players a huge opportunity to pick up their game by watching the big players. “This is the kind of atmosphere and experience which takes anybody’s game and attitude to the next level by merely getting a feel,” he said.

For her part, Carolina Marin of Hyderabad Hunters expressed the hope and desire that she will play all the matches for her team which would not be found short of commitment and intensity in determination and focus to emerge the champion.

Some of the players who were present at the event today included Sourabh Verma (Bengaluru Blasters), B. Sai Praneeth (Hunters) and B. Sumeeth Reddy (Chennai Smashers).