DSport has acquired the exclusive India broadcast rights for the upcoming 2018 Badminton Asia Team Championships. The event, which is slated for 6-11 February, will air live and exclusive on DSport.
This would be the first time when Discovery Communications-owned sports channel would be broadcasting an elite badminton championship, with Indian star shuttlers participating as a team.
The annual continental event in its 38th edition will feature Asian badminton powerhouses, competing as a team rather than individuals. The tournament will see a total of 245 elite Asian shuttlers battling it out from 6-11 February at Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia. This event also acts as the qualifications from Asia for the prestigious Thomas & Uber Cup 2018.
Some of the most notable names include Rio Olympic Silver Medalists PV Sindhu, World No. 5 Kidambi Srikanth, World No. 18 B Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponappa.
DSport business head TS Panesar said, “We are happy to secure the India Broadcast Rights for the prestigious Asia Badminton Team Championships. This is our first major acquisition in the sport of Badminton and we are glad to bring to the Indian fans LIVE action from Malaysia with top Indian shuttlers participating in the event. With this, we are proud to live up to our ambition of becoming a truly diverse sports broadcasting channel with programming that suits a wide array of sports fans.”
Other notable names who will be seen in action during the annual continental team event would include World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia, World. No. 4 Son Wan Ho from Korea and World No 8 Shi Yuqi from China, World No 9 NG Kalong from Hong Kong, World No 10 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the Men’s discipline, while the Women’s pack would see participation from Japanese World No 2 Akane Yamaguchi and World No 7 Nozomi Okuhara Chinese World No 8 & 9 Chen Yufei and He Bingjiao and World No 6 Sung Ji Hyun from Korea.
The Men’s Doubles Category will see participation from some notable names that include World No 1 Indonesian pair of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo & Marcus Fernaldi Gideon, World No 5 Japanese duo of Takeshi Kamura & Keigo Sonoda World No 7 & 8 Chinese Taipei pairs of Chen Hung Ling & Wang Chi-Lin and Lee Jhe-Huei & Lee Yang. World No 2,4 & 6 Japanese pairs of Ayaka Takahashi & Misaki Matsutomo, Yuki Fukushima & Sayaka Hirota and Shiho Tanaka & Koharu Yonemoto, World No 7 Greysia Polli & Apriyani Rahayu from Indonesia will comprise of the top-seeded women’s doubles teams at the tournament. Some other notable women’s doubles players who would be seen playing sans their regular partners would include Korean World No. 5 Chang Ye Na and World No 9 Shin Seung Chang.
The teams participating in the championship will be comprised of both men’s and women’s event. Each team will be required to play ties comprising of three men’s singles and two men’s doubles in men’s category and likewise in women’s category. Each team shall not nominate less than 4 players and not more than 10 players.
Saina Nehwal has decided not to participate in the tournament, even after BAI insisted, citing preparations for the upcoming All England Championships. Also, HS Prannoy and Ajay Jairam would not be participating due to injuries.