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World No. 1 Chong Wei says IBL better than China League

August 20, 2013 08:24 IST

World No. 1 Chong Wei says IBL better than China League

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The Mumbai Masters have been boosted by the arrival of World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, who believes that the Indian Badminton League is better than the badminton league in China.

"I have played twice in the China League. This is the first time for India but I think India is better. Next year I think you can do more better. China League is long and is played over six months but IBL is only three weeks," the Malaysian said at the National Sports Club of India in Mumbai, on Monday.

Mumbai will be boosted by the arrival of their star player and World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, who was out of the first few fixtures because of an injury sustained at the finals of the World Championships. They will take on the Krrish Delhi Smashers at newly-built NSCI, on Tuesday.

"I am happy to be here and participate in this tournament, which is a great boon for the sport. I will play my best and try to win this tournament for the Mumbai Masters. I have always wanted to come and play in front of the passionate fans of India and I hope that the crowds will be here to cheer us in large numbers on Tuesday. Tomorrow is my first match and I hope to play well and win the first point for my team. This is no individual game but a team event. My point is very important because it will be the first point for my team," Lee said.


Image: The Mumbai Masters team


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Lee was accompanied by co-owner and cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar. Known to be an avid badminton fan and a regular player at the Bombay Gymkhana himself, he is optimistic about Mumbai’s chances of winning the tournament.

"We have been in good form, with Ivanov giving us a good start in all our fixtures. We just need to be stronger at the finish, and with Lee here, it is going to be very difficult to stop us from winning the title," he said.

The Masters were seen practicing hard for their clash against Delhi, but the team also found time to interact with badminton enthusiasts and fans from all over the city, who were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with the World No. 1.

Currently joint third in the points table, the Mumbai Masters will be looking to move their way up bolstered by the arrival of the Malaysian ace and the other teams in the league will surely be wary of his threat.


Image: Sunil Gavaskar with Tine Baun
Photographs: Indian Badminton League

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