Plenty of injuries this season has forced Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal to pull out of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) this year. The 29-year-old Saina, who played for North Eastern Warriors in last PBL last, will not be seen in action in the fifth edition to be played between January 20 and February 9.
“Hey everyone, I won’t be part of the PBL Season 5. I haven’t been well most part of the year due to pancreatitis and injuries and I would like to take time during the PBL to prepare better,” Saina said in a tweet on Sunday.
“I want to say sorry to all my fans and I hope to be part of the next season of PBL,” said the 2012 Olympics bronze medallist.
Saina, currently ranked ninth in the world, has been struggling in her recent tournament most of them have been premature exits. She was last seen in action in the Hong Kong Open earlier this month where she lost to China’s Cai Yan Yan in the first round. Saina has suffered first round losses six times this year.
Premier Badminton League owned by Badminton Association of India and organized by Sportzlive will be hosted this time in four cities — Chennai, Delhi, Lucknow, and Bangalore.
“India’s prowess in badminton has been re-established once again as PV Sindhu became the first Indian to become the world champion. Sai Praneeth also brought a men’s singles medal after 36 years, signifying India’s stupendous development in the sport. The fifth season of PBL will give badminton lovers a priceless opportunity to watch these champions live,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma, president of BAI earlier.
The league, which offers a total purse of Rs 6 crore, awarded the winner Bengaluru Raptors a prize money of Rs 3 crore in the previous edition as the PBL continues to spread wider footprints with every season.