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PBL 2018-19: Viktor Axelsen-led Ahmedabad Smash Masters will bank on balanced squad in bid to win coveted crown

The Ahmedabad franchise owned by Padmanabh Sports Pvt Ltd (Mr. Ashish Shah), had a narrow miss at the trophy after losing out in the semi-final stage of the tournament. But with a new season in the offing, the team have cropped up a new look and has made some interesting buys in the auction. With a very balanced squad depth, Ahmedabad aim to go full throttle in their bid to seal their maiden PBL trophy.

Singles:

Bengaluru Blasters' Viktor Axelsen in action during the side's tie against Mumbai Rockets. Image courtesy: Twitter @PBLIndiaLive

Bengaluru Blasters' Viktor Axelsen in action during the side's tie against Mumbai Rockets. Image courtesy: Twitter @PBLIndiaLive

Viktor Axelsen (Icon): An integral cog of the Bengaluru Blasters squad that made the final last season, scintillating Danish shuttler Viktor Axelsen will be leading the Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the upcoming edition. With an impeccable 100 percent win record in PBL3, the Ahmedabad franchise have a true leader that can guide them all the way to the coveted crown.

Daren Lieu (MS): World Championship bronze medallist earlier in the year, Daren Lieu is another renowned foreign name making their foray in the PBL. Quick and powerful, the 2014 CWG gold winner is a smart buy in the single’s department and boasts of expertise to tilt tight matches in his favour.

Sourabh Verma (MS): Indian shuttler Sourabh Verma’s addition makes the MS department of the Ahmedabad Smash Masters a lethal force. Verma has been in sublime form this year winning the Dutch Open and the Russian Open and would be keen to carry on the momentum for the last year semi-finalists in the fourth edition of PBL.

Kirsty Gilmour (WS): Making her debut in PBL3 with the Bengaluru Blasters, Scot shuttler Kirsty Gilmour will be donning the Ahmedabad outfit for the new edition of the league. A feisty character on the court with an indomitable spirit, Gilmour’s presence in the squad will fire up the singles department of the Ahmedabad franchise.

Doubles:

Sikki Reddy (WD): Two times South Asian Games gold winner, Sikki Reddy is an established doubles player and has been a part of the PBL since its inception. Making her debut with the Chennai Smashers, the 2018 CWG gold winner pledged her loyalty to the Bengaluru Blasters for the past two seasons. Now, Reddy will be seen plying her trade for the Ahmedabad Smash Masters and could be the ace that could lead them to the title in the new season.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (XD/MD): Tall and robust, young doubles shuttler Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is one of the upcoming faces of Indian badminton and will be a name to watch out for. Already garnering an international repute at a young age, the 2018 CWG gold medalist will be focussed on getting the job done and propel Ahmedabad to their maiden PBL crown.

Lee Chun Hei Regnaid (XD/MD): A proven contender in the doubles department, Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei Regnaid continues his association with the Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the upcoming 4th edition of the league. Making his PBL debut with the franchise last year, Lee Chun is all geared to take on the Ahmedabad mantle forward.

Kidambi Nandagopal (MD): Kidambi Nandagopal has been a part of PBL since the first edition. Elder brother of Kidambi Srikanth, Nandagopal made his debut for Chennai Smashers but changed to Ahmedabad colours last season. The dynamic doubles shuttler continues his alliance and is ready to contribute everything for the title cause.

Indian Juniors:
Vaishali Bhale (WS): With the new season emphasising on promoting youngsters, Vaishali Bhale will be joining the Hyderabad ranks as she aims to leave behind a strong impression and make her mark in her debut PBL season.

Anoushka Parikh (XD): Making her PBL debut last year with the Hyderabad Hunters, young talent Anoushka Parikh is all prepped to don the Amhedab outfit and take on the challenge. A smart doubles player with a clinical ability to read the game, Parikh has made a swift climb up the ranks and looks eager to keep herself pushing for more.

To view the full schedule of the Premier Badminton League 2018-19, click here.

To view profiles of other teams in the Premier Badminton League 2018-19, click here.


Updated Date: Dec 06, 2018 15:33 PM

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