World men's number 10 H S Prannoy and women's world no 1 Tai Tzu-Ying of Taipei are to lead the challenge of debutants Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the upcoming Premier Badminton League set to be held from December 23 to January 14. However, the league debutants will have to play outside their home city as only five venues - Guwahati, Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai and Hyderabad - have been earmarked to play all the matches in the League, according to Prasad Mangipudi of Sportzlive which is organising the league in conjunction with the Badminton Association of India. "We are using the venues on rotation. Last year the teams reached one venue just two hours before a tie.
Next year the matches will be held in Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru," said Mangipudi. Apart from Prannoy and Tai Tzu, the Ahmedabad team will also have players such as Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark, Lee Chun Hui Reginald and Law Cheuk Him of Hong Kong and former national champion Sourabh Verma. The others in the squad are Kidambi Nandagopal, brother of India's top male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, A S S Siril Verma, Sri Krishna Priya and Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria. "Last year the start was great for me. I am really optimistic about my new team. I am ready for it (PBL)," said Prannoy. Apart from Ahmedabad, the North Eastern Warriors are also making their debut in the third edition of the franchise-based league.
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