Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal of Awadhe Warriors during a warm up session for upcoming Vodafone Premier Badminton League (PBL) 2017-18 at Guwahati on Thursday. Premier Badminton League season 3 will start from December 23 and will be hosted in five cities this time, with Guwahati ,Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai and Hyderabad. Photo: UB Photos Representative image

Doubles pairing will be key for the North-Eastern Warriors (NEW) in the Premier Badminton League season 3. NE Warrior is raring to go under the leadership of former world number 13 and winner of Dutch open in 2014 and 2015 Ajay Jayaram in the new addition to the Vodafone Premier Badminton League (PBL) Season 3.

The league kick starts from December 23 and will see eight teams — Delhi Dashers, Mumbai Rockets, Hyderabad Hunters, Awadhe Warriors, Chennai Smashers, Bengaluru Blasters and Ahmedabad Smash Masters besides the NEW battle out in across 5 different locations of India including Guwahati, New Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Besides the NEW, Ahmedabad Smash Masters is another team to make their debut this season.

“It is going to be a tough one (tournament) for sure. Every team has big names but if you look at our team, we have the perfect balance. Although a lot of would depend on how Tzu Wei Wang and me perform but I also feel that our strongest point would be the Korean pair in the doubles section as they are a dominating force and will determine how our results turn out to be,” said Jayaram.

Jayaram, who has reached the finals of the PBL consecutively in the past two years with two different teams, will surely look to make it a hat-trick of finals leading his new team to the last stage of the tournament and make their debut season a memorable one.

“Yes, I have been lucky to reach the finals twice in a row with two great teams but I don’t think that would add any pressure to my performances as I will go out there and perform to my best and try and bring in the desired result for the team,” Jayaram noted.

The Warriors will be coached by Olympian Nitin Kanetkar, who will also be making his debut on the PBL front and had good things to say about his team after their first combined practice session.

“We have the World No. 10 (Tzu Wei Wang) and Ajay Jayaram who looked in great touch and everyone is getting to know each other and trying to understand each other’s game especially in the doubles section which looks like a strong point for our side. We are raring to go and we will surely make the home fans proud of their team,” the coach concluded on a positive note.

The team:

Ajay Jayaram (Captain), men’s singles: Tzu Wei Wang (Icon Player) and Pratul Joshi; women’s singles: Ruthvika Shivani and Michelle Li; men’s and mixed doubles: Shin Baek Cheol and Kim Gi Jung; men’s doubles: Chirag Shetty; women’s doubles: Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant.

NE NOW NEWS

Northeast Now is a multi-app based hyper-regional bilingual news portal. Mail us at: nenow24x7@gmail.com

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