New Delhi, Feb 10: The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Monday introduced a multi-level domestic tournament structure with combined prize money of around Rs 2 crore in a bid to boost the sport in the country.
"The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has decided to revamp the domestic tournament set-up in order to have a performance-oriented approach and to find the best talents from across the country who can be groomed to represent India at the international level," the federation said in a statement after a meeting of its executive council in Hyderabad on Sunday.
The revamped structure will have three levels of tournaments, with the Level 3 having 6 BAI Series tournaments in a year with Rs 10 lakhs as prize money for each tournament. With no restriction on entry in qualifying, 30 singles players and 15 in paired events as per BAI Ranking will get direct main draw entries. While the first three tournaments will be held from May to June, next three will follow in November.
In Level 2, 4 BAI Super Series Badminton Tournaments will be held and these will have Rs 15 lakh as prize money for individual tournaments. The top 48 singles players and 24 doubles pairs as per BAI Ranking will get direct main-draw entry and players with ranking points from Level 3 tournaments will also be eligible for qualifying draw.
The first couple of tournaments at this level will be in July with the last two in December. 'BAI’s goal is not only to unearth the best talents who can sustain a high level of play at international tournaments, but also to create a sustainable domestic structure backed with sizeable prize money to benefit players,' said BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The highest level will see a Rs 25 lakh BAI Premier Super Series which will have a restricted entry event with main draws only. (UNI)