North Eastern Warriors all set for PBL debut


Guwahati, Dec 22, 2017: With just a couple of days to go for the third edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL), new entrants North-Eastern Warriors are raring to go into their debut season with all guns blazing in their opener against last year's semi-finalists Hyderabad Hunters at the Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

Besides North-Eastern Warriors, Ahmedabad Smash Masters is the other addition to the Rs 6 crore-PBL, which boasts of eight World Championship medallists and nine Olympic medallists.

The only team from the northeast will be led by Ajay Jayaram, who has reached the finals of the PBL consecutively in the past two years with two different teams.

Jayaram will surely look to make it a hat-trick of finals leading his new team to the last stage of the tournament and make their debut season a memorable one.

He, however acknowledged that it won't be a walk in the park for any team in the 23-day tournament.

"It is going to be a tough one (tournament) for sure. Every team has big names but if you look at our team, we have the perfect balance," he said.

"Although a lot would depend on how Tzu Wei Wang and me perform but I also feel that our strongest point would be the Korean pair in the doubles section as they are a dominating force and will determine how our results turn out to be," he added.

Commenting on his individual record in the league, Jayaram said: "Yes, I have been lucky to reach the finals twice in a row with two great teams but I don't think that would add any pressure to my performances as I will go out there and perform to my best and try and bring in the desired result for the team.

The Warriors will be coached by Olympian Nitin Kanetkar, who will also be making his debut on the PBL front and had good things to say about his team after their first combined practice session.

"We have the World No.10 (Tzu Wei Wang) and Jayaram who looked in great touch and everyone is getting to know each other and trying to understand each other's game especially in the doubles section which looks like a strong point for our side.

"We are raring to go and we will surely make the home fans proud of their team," the coach concluded on a positive note.