PBL and its seasons
Now that we have understood PBL and its format, let’s track its various milestones.
Technically speaking, the PBL started in 2013. The name of this tournament was the Indian Badminton League, and Sportzlive secured the rights to operate the league and the individual players. This tournament started on 14th August and was completed on the 31st August, the same year. Hyderabad Hotshots won the title by beating Awadhe Warriors in the final. All the matches of this league were played in six cities, which were Lucknow, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Delhi.
This exciting first season was the one to kickstart it all. We have covered this exciting event earlier in the article as this was the inaugural season.
The format of this season was similar to the earlier one. Season 2 of Premier Badminton League started on 1st January 2017 and finished on 14th January the same year. Four teams qualified for the semis; these were Awadhe Warriors, Mumbai Rockets, Chennai Smashers and Hyderabad Hunters. Awadhe Warriors yet again failed to reach the finals. Chennai Smashers beat Awadhe 4-1 in the semis. In the other semi-final match, Hyderabad lost to Mumbai. Chennai went home with the title after beating Mumbai 4-3.
Premier Badminton League’s third season had a longer duration. It started on 23rd December 2017 and concluded on 14th January 2018. Thus, this season spanned 22 days. Hyderabad Hunters won the PBL title after it beat Bengaluru Raptors 4-13 in the finals.
Season 4 & 5
The fourth season of the Premier Badminton League was won by Bengaluru Raptors. This was Raptor's first title in this elite badminton league. Season 4 started on 22 December 2018 and finished on 13 January 2019.
In the fifth season, Delhi and Ahmedabad Smash Masters did not participate in the PBL. The final match was contested between Bengaluru Raptors and Northeastern Warriors. The Raptors won the PBL title after beating Warriors 4-2. This was Bengaluru’s second PBL title. The total prize money for Season 5 was a whopping INR 5 crores.
Over the years, the number of teams participating in the PBL has varied from one season to another. There were six teams in the first two seasons, eight in the third one, and nine and seven in Seasons 4 and 5, respectively.
The first two finals were played in the Delhi Badminton and Squash Stadium, New Delhi. Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru played host to seasons 3 and 4, respectively. The final match of Season 5 was played at the Gachibowli Stadium, Hyderabad.