India’s leading male shuttler HS Prannoy is eager to guide Mumbai Rockets to the title win after the franchise had finished second-best in the Premier Badminton League last year behind Delhi Acers.
“I am very excited to be part of Mumbai Rockets for the second year. We had a great season last year and missed the title by a whisker. We want to win it this time. We have a great team and everyone is in great form,” said Prannoy at the jersey launch function of the PBL franchise in Mumbai on Thursday.
The six-team PBL is scheduled from January 1-14, 2017 and Mumbai have a chance to avenge their defeat to Delhi in last year’s final in their lung-opener at home on January 3 at the NSCI Stadium in Worli.
Pranoy, who has slipped down to 29 in the Badminton World Federation rankings after a career-high of 12 last year, will have Indian compatriot Ajay Jayaram and up and coming shuttler Shreyansh Jaiswal as teammates in men’s singles.
The Mumbai Rockets have Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea, the current world no. 5 who had the measure of India’s highest ranked shuttler and Rio Olympics silver medalist P V Sindhu in the semi finals of the season-ending Dubai Super Series Finals last week, to bank upon in women’s singles along with Vrushali Gummadi.
The team, under head coach Vijaydeep Singh, also comprises Lee Yong Dae (Korea), N Phusnhphupet (Thailand), Chirag Shetty (India), Mohita Sachdev (India) and N Zieba (Poland) to play in the pairs events.
According to PBL organisers, the matches would be best-of-three eleven-point games and each tie would comprise five matches with one match to be named as the trump match by the franchise.
A victory in their designated trump match would get the team two points but a loss would push them behind by one negative point.
The winners of the championship would take home Rs 3 crore, the runners-up Rs 1.5 crore while the two losing semi finalists would be richer by Rs 75 lakh each.