Short format here to stay, feels Saina Nehwal
By Express News Service | Published: 11th January 2017 05:57 AM |
BENGALURU : Sport in India is increasingly turning towards games that are shorter, faster, and of course, glamourous. Be it cricket, hockey, kabaddi or badminton, they are bringing crowds in.
The ongoing Premier Badminton League 2 seems to have done its bit to pull in the people, and there are talks that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) might even experiment with this format. The BWF has tried switching between 21 and 15 points in the past. But the 11-point format could very well be the future. The 21-point format can throw up some long rallies that require a lot of skill, while the 11-point format is the slam-bang version.
London Olympics bronze medalist Saina Nehwal feels the latter could work well, but should not be adopted by the BWF before extensive testing. “It’s a tough format. If someone takes six points, then it’s going to be tough to catch up. In this format, you’re going to miss rallies that you see in the longer one. But for a team event like the PBL, it’s fine because it goes on for a long time,” she said.
Badminton players are used to the 21-point format, and it will take time to adjust, she feels. “It’s all smash and grab. It takes a little time to adjust to the shorter format. But I don’t mind playing it in other tournaments. It’s just that the rallies will go away and it’ll not be much fun to view matches. Such a format might even have a feel of a doubles game.”
For badminton to gain popularity around the world, the BWF may have to improvise and possibly adapt, or at least try, the new format. Saina, however, has a word of caution. “The BWF knows the importance of both the formats. They’ll not take a decision without giving it proper thought,” she stated.
“They’ll have to check it in Super Series competitions. It’s not that you can trial it in Grand Prix Gold events but use it during Super Series ones. You also have to consult players, and if they object to such a format, then things will not change. Maybe they can try it at a couple of tournaments and see how it goes,” stated the Bengaluru-based shuttler.
But the 26-year-old is very much open to the idea of having matches in both formats. “That’s better than changing everything to 11 points, because it’ll not be so good to watch,” she stated.Having more leagues, the Hisar-born athlete feels, will take players away from Super Series tournaments, unless prize money is increased in the latter. “The leagues pay more than Super Series. So, why not?
If something like this happens twice a year, players will play the league and not the latter. I hope they increase the prize money in Super Series as well, because if you compare it with tennis, it’s nothing,” felt Saina.
“With the league system and money coming in, it’s less strenuous also. There need not be drastic increase in prize money, but it should be gradual so that players are attracted to badminton,” concluded the former World No email@example.com
Chennai Smashers win
A superb show by PV Sindhu in the women’s singles tie saw Chennai Smashers post a 4-3 victory over Mumbai Rockets in their PBL 2 match here on Tuesday.
Results: Chennai Smashers bt Mumbai Rockets 4-3 (P Kashyap lost to HS Prannoy 9-11, 11-13; Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock bt Chirag Shetty/Nadiezda Zieba 9-11, 11-2, 11-7; Tommy Sugiarto bt Ajay Jayaram 8-11, 11-2, 11-5; PV Sindhu bt Sung Ji Hyun 11-8, 12-10).