Premier Badminton League

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Premier Badminton League
Most recent season or competition:
2020 Premier Badminton League
Premier Badminton League logo.png
FormerlyIndian Badminton League
Inaugural season2016
AdministratorBadminton Association of India
Venue(s)Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore , Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Lucknow and Guwahati
Most recent
Bengaluru Raptors (2nd title)
Most titlesBengaluru Raptors (2 titles)
TV partner(s)List of broadcasters
Sponsor(s)Star Sports, Bridgestone
Tournament formatRound-robin and knock-out

Premier Badminton League (PBL) is a team badminton league operating in India. Sportz & Live Private Limited (Sportzlive) has the rights to operate and execute the Premier Badminton League.

The inaugural season of PBL was held from 2 to 17 January 2016. Delhi Dashers (formerly Delhi Acers) defeated Mumbai Rockets in the final to clinch the title. The second season began on 22 December 2016 and came to end on 14 January 2017 with the Chennai Smashers headed by P. V. Sindhu clinching the title in the finals. The third season began on 23 December 2017 and came to end on 14 January 2018 with Hyderabad Hunters headed by Carolina Marín emerging as the champions. Bengaluru Raptors won the last two editions in 2018-19 and 2020, becoming the only team to win the title twice.


Tournament format[edit]

Teams play each other in round-robin format in league stage. Each team plays six ties in the league stage in which each tie consists of five matches. The matches played are two Men's singles, Women's singles, Men's doubles and Mixed doubles. Each of these matches are best of 3 games.[1] Teams earn one point for each regular match win; in addition, each team must choose a Trump match, where a win is worth two points, and a loss subtracts one point.[2] After league stage, the top four teams in the table will qualify for the knockout stage. The winners of semi-finals goes into the final, in which the winner will be crowned the PBL champions.

Player auctions[edit]

The player auctions are usually held at the end of each year for the subsequent season. Professional players from around the world enter the bidding where teams buy them.[3] The league has helped players more than double their annual earnings from prize money in the year 2018. According to the prominent Danish player Victor Axelsen, this was a crucial part of their annual income.[4] Each franchise has a purse of 2 crore (US$250,000) and the maximum a team can spend on a single player was 77 lakh (US$96,000) in the most recent 2020 auction.[5]

Fifth Season[edit]

The fifth season auctions were held on 26 November 2019 in New Delhi.[6] Each franchise had a purse of 2 crore (US$250,000), and were not allowed to spend more than 77 lakh (US$96,000) on a single player.[5][6] The highest paid players were the Taiwanese Tai Tzu-ying and Indian P. V. Sindhu, both sold for the maximum amount of 77 lakh (US$96,000) to Bengaluru Raptors and Hyderabad Hunters respectively. Indian doubles player Satwiksairaj Rankireddy was the next highest, bought for 62 lakh (US$78,000) by Chennai Superstarz.[7]

2020 being the Olympic year, key players like Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, Carolina Marín, Victor Axelsen and others have decided to skip the season.[8][9]

Some of the players were traded between Mumbai, Chennai and Pune teams ahead of the season.[10]


Currently seven franchises compete in the league.[11] There were nine franchises in the previous season(2018–19).[12][11][7][10]

Current Franchises[edit]

Franchise name City Owner(s) Highest Paid (Male) Highest Paid (Female) Home ground
Hyderabad Hunters Hyderabad Agile Security Force India Sourabh Verma India P. V. Sindhu Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad
Bengaluru Raptors Bangalore Matrix Teamwork Badminton Pvt. Ltd India B. Sai Praneeth Chinese Taipei Tai Tzu-ying Koramangala Indoor Stadium, Bangalore
Awadhe Warriors Lucknow Sahara India Pariwar South Korea Ko Sung-hyun United States Beiwen Zhang Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium, Lucknow
Mumbai Rockets Mumbai Devyani Leisures South Korea Kim Gi-jung Indonesia Pia Zebadiah Bernadet Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium, Mumbai
Chennai Superstarz Chennai R. Sivakumar, Aditya Meesala India Satwiksairaj Rankireddy England Jessica Pugh Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai
Northeastern Warriors Guwahati The Eastern Warriors Pvt Ltd Hong Kong Lee Cheuk Yiu South Korea Kim Ha-na Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium, Guwahati
Pune 7 Aces Pune Tapsee Pannu, KRI Indonesia Hendra Setiawan England Gabby Adcock Shri Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex


First Season (Season 1)[edit]

In 2016, the league was renamed from Indian Badminton League to Premier Badminton League, and still followed same format. This first season of the PBL started on 2 January 2016 and concluded on 17 January 2016. The four teams to proceed to the semi-finals were Delhi Dashers, Chennai Smashers, Awadhe Warriors and Mumbai Rockets. Delhi beat Chennai 4-3 and Mumbai Rockets beat Awadhe Warriors 3–1 to proceed to the final. Delhi Dashers won the tournament after beating Mumbai Rockets 4–3.

Second Season (Season 2)[edit]

The second season of the Premier Badminton League started on 1 January 2017 and concluded on 14 January 2017. It followed the same format as the earlier league, and the four teams to proceed to the semi-finals were Awadhe Warriors, Mumbai Rockets, Chennai Smashers and Hyderabad Hunters. Chennai Smashers beat Awadhe Warriors 4-1 and Mumbai Rockets beat Hyderabad Hunters 3-(-1) to proceed to the final. Chennai Smashers won the tournament after beating Mumbai Rockets 4–3.

Third Season (Season 3)[edit]

The third season of the PBL started on 23 December 2017 and concluded on 14 January 2018. Hyderabad Hunters were crowned the champions after they beat Bengaluru Blasters 4–3 in the final tie.

Fourth Season (Season 4)[edit]

The fourth season of the PBL was played from 22 December 2018 to 13 January 2019. In the fourth season Bengaluru Raptors took their first title after beating Mumbai Rockets in the final.

Fifth Season (Season 5)[edit]

The fifth season of the PBL started on 20 January 2020 and concluded on 9 February 2020. Seven teams participated in the season. Delhi Dashers and Ahmedabad Smash Masters did not participate in this edition. Total prize money of 6 crore (US$750,000) was announced by Sportzlive for the tournament.[13] Bengaluru Raptors beat Northeastern Warriors 4–2 in the finals to win their second title. It was also their second consecutive title in PBL.

Tournament seasons and results[edit]

Five seasons of PBL have been played since the first season in 2016. They are:

PBL season results[14]
Season Final Final venue Number of


Winner Result Runner-up
Season 1


Delhi Acers 4–3 Mumbai Rockets DDA Badminton and Squash Stadium, New Delhi 6
Season 2


Chennai Smashers 4–3 Mumbai Rockets DDA Badminton and Squash Stadium, New Delhi 6
Season 3


Hyderabad Hunters 4–3 Bengaluru Blasters Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bangalore 8
Season 4


Bengaluru Raptors 4–3 Mumbai Rockets Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bangalore 9
Season 5


Bengaluru Raptors 4–2 Northeastern Warriors Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad 7

Teams' performances[edit]

(No. of teams)
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Hyderabad Hunters 5th SF 1st SF 6th
Bengaluru Raptors (formerly Bengaluru Top Guns and Bengaluru Blasters) 6th 5th 2nd 1st 1st
Awadhe Warriors SF SF 5th SF 5th
Mumbai Rockets 2nd 2nd 8th 2nd 7th
Chennai Superstarz (formerly Chennai Smashers) SF 1st 6th 6th SF
Northeastern Warriors DNE 7th 8th 2nd
Pune 7 Aces DNE 5th SF
Delhi Dashers (formerly Delhi Acers) 1st 6th SF 9th DEF
Ahmedabad Smash Masters DNE SF 7th DEF
1st Champions
2nd Runner-up
SF Semi-finalists
DNE Team did not exist in the respective season
DEF Team defunct
Teams that no longer exist

Team rosters[edit]

Broadcast rights[edit]

In 2013 STAR Sports India purchased the broadcasting rights for India.[15]

Winning bidder Regional broadcast rights Terms of deal
STAR Sports  India 2013-2025
Fox Sports  Hong Kong 2013-2020
SKY Sports  United Kingdom 2013-2030
ESPN  United States 2013-2023
Hotstar Worldwide digital rights 2016–present[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rules And Regulations". Premier Badminton League. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  2. ^ PBL to have Trump Match, best of three games for 15 points - The Times of India / Press Trust of India, 15 December 2015
  3. ^ Antony, A. Joseph (12 August 2013). "Sudirman Cup-like format for IBL". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  4. ^ Sachetat, Raphaël. "When private leagues help make a living". Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b Sportstar, Team. "PBL Auction- As it happened: PV Sindhu, Tai Tzu fetch big bucks, Chennai, Pune build strong teams". Sportstar. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b "7 Teams, 154 Shuttlers: All You Need to Know About PBL Auction". The Quint. 26 November 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  7. ^ a b Sportstar, Team. "PBL 5 Auction: Full team list, released and sold players". Sportstar. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  8. ^ "After Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth pulls out of PBL to focus on international events". India Today. Press Trust of India. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  9. ^ Richard, Dominic. "PBL 5 preview: League aims to make splash despite several stars missing". Sportstar. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  10. ^ a b India, P. B. L. (20 January 2020). "Done deal! @gabbyadcock @7acespune Kuhoo Garg @Mumbai_Rockets_ Jessica Pugh @Superstarz_PBL Which team has made the best trade ahead of #PBLSeason5?". @PBLIndiaLive. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Home". Premier Badminton League. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  12. ^ Indian Badminton League Teams Archived 26 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "PBL 2020: Reigning world champion PV Sindhu, World No 2 Tai Tzu Ying to headline fifth edition of Premier Badminton League". Firstpost. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Home". Premier Badminton League. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Indian Badminton League: Dabur nets Pune, PVP bags Hyderabad franchise". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013.
  16. ^ Malvania, Urvi (2 January 2016). "Star Sports title sponsor of Premier Badminton League". Business Standard India. Retrieved 25 January 2020.