The Premier Badminton League is back and so are the baddies. The World number one Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen has also returned to India to participate in the elite competition which has some of the best shuttlers from around the world ply their trade against each other. The BWF Super Series Final champion has been roped in by the Bengaluru Blasters in their formidable squad which also consists of the Doubles world number 2 Mathias Boe and the likes of Indian Mixed Doubles star N Sikki Reddy. Ahead of Bengaluru first battle of the season with Delhi Dashers, NewsX caught up with the mighty Dane who heaped praises on India’s Kidambi Srikanth.
Srikanth has been on a record-breaking run this year where he lifted four Superseries titles defeating big names in Kazumasa Sakai at the Indonesia Open, Chen Long at the Australia Open, Lee Hyun il at the Denmark Open and Kenta Nishimoto at the French Open. He carved his name in the elite list of shuttlers alongside legendary Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long who have also won four or more Super Series titles in a calendar year. “Kidambi Srikanth is one of the best in the world,” Axelsen told NewsX. He will be rearing to take on the world number 3 Indian when his Bengaluru side lock horns with Srikanth’s Awadhe Warriors. The Awadhe Warriors have also weaved in a brilliant team consisting of the likes of Saina Nehwal, Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap.
Axelsen bagged his first title of the year by defeating Chou Tien-Chen of Chinese Taipei at the India Open and feels that the growing craze of the shuttle sport in the country embarks a better future for the game. He said that his experience of playing in India has been a great one and that he is looking forward to taking the court for Bengaluru Blasters in the Premier Badminton League. “I love playing badminton in India, the passion that people have for badminton is awesome, I won Indian open in last season in India and coming back here playing for Bengaluru Blasters is great, he told NewsX.
The league got underway on Saturday with Kidambi Srikanth’ s Awadhe warriors getting better of PV Sindhu’s Chennai Smashers. However, both Srikanth and Sindhu won their respective clashes against Leverdez and Chukka. In the second tie Olympic Gold medallist Carolina Marin won her clash to propel Hyderabad Hunters to a 5-2 win over North Eastern Warriors. Mumbai Rockets and Ahmedabad Smash Masters also won their opening ties. Sindhu’s Chennai Smashers will take on Mumbai Smashers later today at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi.