New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Indian badminton players will get back to competitive action after a gap of nearly 20 months when the domestic season gets under way with back-to-back senior-ranking Level 3 tournaments next month.
The season will commence in Chennai with the first tournament from December 16 to 22, followed by another Level 3 tournament in Hyderabad from December 24-30.
Both events carry prize money of Rs 10 lakh each, and are part of the Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) new domestic format, which was approved in 2019 but due to the pandemic, was not introduced earlier.
BAI secretary Ajay Singhania said that the domestic season will begin with all Covid-related protocols in place, and it was mandatory for players to carry RTPCR negative reports.
“Covid disrupted not just sports but life in general, but we are pleased to announce the resumption of the Indian domestic badminton season. We have some world-class players and all the players getting back on court is great news for the badminton fraternity.”
The senior ranking tournaments are classified into three levels: Level 3 — BAI Series Badminton Tournament (six in a year), Level 2 – BAI Super Series Badminton Tournament (four in a year), Level 1 — BAI Premier Super Series Badminton Tournament (two in a year).
With a prize pool of Rs 2.2 crores for the domestic senior-ranking tournaments, Level 3 category tournaments are the preliminary events carrying a prize money of Rs 10 lakh, while Level 2 tournaments, to be played twice, have a purse of Rs 15 lakh each followed by a Premier tournament with a prize money of RS 25 lakh.
Then there’s the National Championships, with a prize purse of Rs 50 lakh. Apart from being financially lucrative to the players, the aim of the format is to make the domestic circuit increasingly competitive by allowing more players to break into the main circuit.