Ajay Jayaram (file photo)

The new season of the Premier Badminton League which will take place in four cities across India from December 23, 2017 to January 14, 2018, will see a new team representing the North-eastern region, which was formed on September 25 and has been christened as North Eastern Warriors.

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The franchisee agreement for forming of the new team North Eastern Warriors was signed between TK Engineering Consortium Pvt Ltd and Sportzlive Entertainment Pvt Ltd, the latter being the licensee of Badminton Association of India for the Premier Badminton League for the current season.

TK Engineering Consortium Pvt Ltd, an Itanagar-based company has resolved to promote development of badminton in northeast India to motivate the youngsters to adopt badminton as a mantra of life and open new vistas for promising sports talents of the region that has been already recognized as the sports nursery of the country.

Former world number 13 and winner of Dutch open in 2014 and 2015 Ajay Jayaram who is leading the side said that the NE team has a chance to make its presence felt in the league which starts from December 23.

“I think we have a very well balanced team. We have strong departments in the men’s and women’s singles…but I feel the key is our men’s doubles as we have a Korean pair there. This is, I think is the strongest point we have in the team. If we play on the points, we have a fair chance of winning the title,” Jayaram told reporters on Monday.

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Ten top international players were roped in by TK Engineering Consortium Pvt Ltd in order to raise the standard of the young talents of the region. They include Tzu Wei Wang, Ajay Jayaram (Captain), Chirag Shetty, Shin Baek Cheol, Kim Gi Jung, Prajakta Sawant, Ruthvika Shivani, Michelle Li and Sanyogita Ghorpade through PBL auction held at Hyderabad last October, 2017. Moreover, local talents of northeast — Ashmita Chaliha, Laa Talar and Maisnam Meiraba will also be accompanying with the team for exposure.

While speaking to the media today Bamang Tago, CEO of North Eastern Warriors said, “We are all set for the challenge. Our players are morally well placed. And especially under the mentorship of renowned coach Nikhil Kanetkar North Eastern Warriors will bring laurels to the Northeast India. Badminton in NE will now onwards bring new vistas for the promising talents of the region.”

With the entry of North Eastern Warriors, the Premier Badminton League will now have eight teams, the others being Delhi Acers, Mumbai Rockets, Awadhe Warriors (Lucknow), Hyderabad Hunters, Chennai Smashers, Bengaluru Blasters and Ahmedabad Smash-masters. To be held in a rolling format, the third edition of Premier Badminton League will have Guwahati as one of the four centres.

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