We witnessed the scene of young men and women in yellow start the celebrations with complete ecstasy after Ajay Jayaram secured a 3-1 win and helped Hyderabad Hotshots lift the inaugural season of Indian Badminton league. IBL was believed to be the best thing that has happened to the game in the country and it has lived up to the expectations and its primary aim. In this article, I have compiled the list of positives to take out from the one billion dollar tournament that got concluded this weekend. Chance to play against World Class Players: The champions of tomorrow got a chance to share the court in the other side of net against some of the legends the game has produced. The World no.01 Lee Chong Wei [MM], Tien Minh Nguyen, Mark Zwiebler in men’s singles; Juliane Schenk [PP], Tine Baun [MM] in women’s singles and the top class doubles players in the form of Carlsen Mongesan [BB], Mathias Boe [AW], Markis Kido [AW], Vladimir Ivanov [MM] were some of the notable opponents our country men and women faced off.
Boost in Confidence: Playing with/against the world class players mentioned above will not only test the player’s skill set but will also rise the confidence level. The player will get the feel of International Standards and would have felt he/she belongs to the same level. PV Sindhu’s belief in her would have increased when she defeated Juliane Schenk once and Tine Baun twice with ease. Learning Curve: Taufik Hidayat is one gem of an athlete and his presence would have really helped Ajay Jayaram whose confidence level seemed to be pepped up all through the tournament. K Srikanth pulled off an upset in the finals, the way he tried to wrap up the match in second game displayed his growing maturity. Playing under coaches like will improve the players approach towards the game on and off the court.
Popularity of the game: The crowd turned out for most of the matches was good in numbers and enthusiasm especially the Bangalore crowd. I witnessed the number of people watching the live YouTube stream count increases from 150 during the first match to 3000 during the semifinals. It shows the success of the tournament, it attracted people because of its exciting format and IBL has promised to come with more number of teams next season. Experience: Even though many young players didn’t get a chance to showcase their talents in the main stage, which 19 year old gets a chance to stay and play against the best in the world for over two weeks? Thanks to Indian Badminton League’s rule to make it mandatory to induct a young player in the team, their experience will be in play some day. Team Spirit: Already nurtured with team spirit at the Gopichand Academy from the budding days, the players would have learned to be a better team man/woman. Failures can be erased with the magic of success, but ego problems from the memory lane can’t be (Refer Jwala Gutta and Saina Nehwal relationship). Playing as a team is as important as waking up early and practicing every day, the passion for the game and the thirst for contributing to the side’s win will always help a player to perform better.
More Money: The tournament ensured a good bank balance for the players which up to now believed only cricketers can have. Indian Players were paid too much that few foreigners demanded the reason regarding the price tags. IBL has convincingly proved to be a success and we can expect more next year.