The Premier Badminton League (PBL) season 5 sem-finals and final will now be held in Hyderabad instead of Bengaluru after the last leg of the tournament, scheduled from February 5-9, was shifted due to unavailability of the stadium.
Earlier in the day, Bengaluru Raptors had taken to Twitter to announce that they may not be able to host the final leg as "certain officials at Kanteerava stadium are doing their very best to sabotage this event from happening."
Later in the day, PBL released the revised schedule according to which more than half the tournament will now be held in Hyderabad. The fifth season of the PBL is commencing from January 20 and it was supposed to be held in four cities, which has now been cut to three.
Hyderabad was supposed to host the matches from January 29 to February 4 as per the original schedule. Now 15 matches including three double headers will be hosted by Hyderabad and matches from January 29 to Febaruary 9 will be hosted in Hyderabad.
The other two venues for the season 5 are Chennai (January 20-24) and Lucknow (Jan 25-28).
While the tournament begins on January 20 with Chennai Superstarz hosting Hyderabad Hunters while the final will take place on February 9.
The upcoming season of the PBL will also be without some of the biggest stars in Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, Carolina Marin and Viktor Axelsen as the players have chosen to focus on Olympic qualification.
This year PBL is not only missing some of its biggest stars, but also two teams - Delhi Dashers and Ahmedabad Smash Masters. Delhi Dashers, formerly known as Delhi Acers, had won the league's first season (in its current name and format) in 2016 while Ahmedabad had joined the roster just a couple of seasons ago.
Atul Pande, Managing Director of PBL organisers Sportzlive, had told News18.com that Delhi Dashers was discontinued because their owners, Dalmia Cement, "did not feel it was one of their core business" after "explore sports" for a few years.
Ahmedabad Smash Masters, on the other hand, had their license cancelled after they failed to fulfill their financial obligations.
Here is the full schedule of the tournament:
** CS: Chennai Superstarz, HH: Hyderabad Hunters, NEW: North Eastern Warriors, BR: Bengaluru Raptors, MR: Mumbai Rockets, AW: Awadhe Warriors, P7A: Pune 7 Aces