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Gavaskar says IBL will be an event to remember

Last updated on: July 26, 2013 19:10 IST

Gavaskar says IBL will be an event to remember

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Mumbai Masters owner and cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar is confident about the success of the upcoming Indian Badminton League, and picked world No 1 shuttler Lee Chong Wei as the one to watch out for in the US $1 million tournament, from August 14 to 31.

Gavaskar, former Andhra Pradesh cricketer V Chamundeshwarnath and actor Nagarjuna own Mumbai Masters, the franchise that purchased the Malaysian ace for a whopping $135,000 during the IBL players' auction earlier this week.

"Lee Chong Wei's speed is incredible and there is no doubt that he is the fastest player on the court," said the former India skipper and opening batsman, adding it is going to be a great thrill to watch him play.

"Lee Chong Wei," he said, "has been the No.1 player for a few years now and it is not easy to maintain the ranking since there are so many new players coming through every year," expressing satisfaction with the players Mumbai Masters have acquired.


Image: Lee Chong Wei
Photographs: Syamsul Bahri Muhammad/Getty Images

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'There is no one who works harder than Tine Baun'

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On three-time All-England champion Tine Baun of Denmark and other top foreign stars acquired by Mumbai Masters, Gavaskar said, "Tine Baun has shown what tenacity and perseverance can do. There is no one who works harder than her and it shows in her results.

"I am also looking forward to watching Marc Zwiebler and Vladimir Ivanov as also the Indian players in the team. I am certain that there will be huge entertainment for badminton lovers watching these and other franchise players in action. It promises to be a league to remember."


Image: Tine Baun
Photographs: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

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'I am curious to witness a cricket match'

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Lee Chong Wei, who won two Olympics silver medals, was excited at the prospect of meeting Gavaskar.

"I'm looking forward to meeting Mr Gavaskar and my team-mates in Mumbai Masters," said Wei, who is currently attending a training camp in Hong Kong.

"I will try to do my best for the team," he added.

He said watching a cricket match, if possible, on the sidelines of the IBL is on his wish-list.

"I am curious to witness a cricket match. Hopefully, I will get an opportunity on this trip."


Image: Lee Chong Wei
Photographs: Koki Nagahama/Getty Images

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'IBL's format is interesting'

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Meanwhile, Zwiebler, the reigning European champion from Germany, said the IBL, which will be held across six cities in India and feature six teams, each having six Indians, four foreigners and an Indian junior player, will help in promoting the sport across the globe.

"I'm very excited to play in the IBL. The format is interesting because it gives us the chance to promote our sport in one of the biggest countries in the world; at the same time, I'm sure we will meet new friends and take home a lot of new experiences," he said.

"I'm looking forward to a great league with lots of world-class players competing with and against each other."


Image: Marc Zwiebler
Photographs: Syamsul Bahri Muhammad/Getty Images

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