PBL: Chennai Smashers happy with the team

Chennai retained Rio silver medallist P.V. Sindhu (39 lakh) and husband-wife duo (and doubles specialists) Chris Adcock (26 lakh) and Gabby Adcock (Rs 26 lakh), while it strengthened by the squad by bringing on board former Commonwealth Games men’s singles medallist P. Kashyap (Rs. 8 lakh).

Parupalli Kashyap will represent Chennai Smashers in the up-coming season of PBL.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

It was a big disappointment for badminton lovers in Chennai when no matches of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) were held in the city last year. In some positive news for the fans, PBL has confirmed Chennai as one of the venues for the upcoming season.

But Vijay Prabahkar, owner of the city-based PBL franchise Chennai Smashers, is not sure if the plan would materialise.

"Chennai matches are scheduled on January 10 and 11, 2017. If it happens, I will be happy. But I am not sure,” Prabhakar told Sportstar on Wednesday. He hinted that it would be difficult to host matches in the city without the support of Tamil Nadu Badminton Association (TNBA) and the State government.

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The Chennai franchise owner said he was very happy with the team he had picked at the PBL auction held in New Delhi on Wednesday. “We had planned everything in advance and things, more often than not, panned out the way we had planned. Luck was also on our side,” said the son of prominent Tamil actor Vijaykanth.

Chennai retained Rio silver medallist P.V. Sindhu (39 lakh) and husband-wife duo (and doubles specialists) Chris Adcock (26 lakh) and Gabby Adcock (Rs 26 lakh). It also strengthened the squad by bringing on board former Commonwealth Games men’s singles medallist P. Kashyap (Rs. 8 lakh).

The surprise pick, however, was Ramya Tulasi from Chennai. The 20-year-old, who is the State’s reigning singles and doubles champion, was unaware that she was selected by the Chennai franchise till Sportstar caught up with her.

“I didn’t know (that I was picked). I am excited. Finally, three years of hard work has paid off. Being part of a team which has an Olympic silver medalist in Sindhu is a huge boost for players like me,” said Ramya, a student of SSN College of Engineering.

Ramya started playing in International (senior) tournaments only this year. She reached the final round of mixed doubles qualifying round with Rajesh Krishnan at the Singapore International Series and the Indian Open.

Team owner Vijay Prabhakar also revealed that Arun Vishnu, who is with the Gopichand Academy, will be the coach of Smashers.