New Delhi: The Premier Badminton League (PBL) begins on Sunday with a clash between Hyderabad Hunters and Chennai Smashers in a clash that includes a sub-plot -- a tussle between Olympic women's singles finalists Carolina Marin and PV Sindhu.
Apart from Sindhu, Chennai boast men's singles shuttlers Tommy Sugiarto and Parupalli Kashyap, who will be eager to continue his progress after making a comeback from a knee injury. Britain's Adcock couple, Chris and Gabrielle will be important in the men's and the mixed doubles matches.
In the opposite camp will be two talented Indian singles youngsters Sameer Verma and B. Sai Praneeth. In the form of English Rajiv Ouseph, Hyderabad have a proven international player. Malaysian doubles specialist Tan Boon Heong and Tan Wee Kiong.
The Bengaluru-Chennai tie will be followed by the clash between Bengaluru Blasters and defending champions Delhi Smashers.
The rest two teams are Mumbai Rockets and Awadhe Warriors who play on Monday.
Awadhe will be spearheaded by Indian star Saina Nehwal, who will be keen to prove her form after overcoming fitness hurdles late November. A match against world No.3 Sung ji Hyun will be a good test for Saina.
Ajay Jayaram and H.S. Prannoy are the men's singles options for Mumbai, while 2008 Olympic champion Lee Yong Dae will be important in the doubles games.
In Awadhe's team, Kidambi Srikanth and Vincent Wong Wing Ki are strong men's singles options, while Markis Kido and Goh W Shem are crucial in the doubles games.
1 January: Hyderabad Hunters vs Chennai Smashers, Bengaluru Blasters vs Delhi Acers
2 January: Awadhe Warriors vs Hyderabad Hunters
3 January: Bengaluru Blasters vs Chennai Smashers, Delhi Acers vs Mumbai Rockets
4 January: Hyderabad Hunters vs Mumbai Rockets
5 January: Awadhe Warriors vs Delhi Acers
6 January: Awadhe Warriors vs Mumbai Rockets
7 January: Bengaluru Blasters vs Hyderabad Hunters
8 January: Delhi Acers vs Chennai Smashers
9 January: Awadhe Warriors vs Bengaluru Blasters
10 January: Mumbai Rockets vs Chennai Smashers
11 January: Awadhe Warriors vs Chennai Smashers
12 January: Delhi Acers vs Hyderabad Hunters
13 January: Semi-final 1, Semi-final 2
14 January: Final
Where to watch
The matches will be telecast on the channels Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 3 as well as in their HD versions. For those who do not have access to a television, one can simply log on to Hotstar to catch all the action online.