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PBL 2018-19: With Saina Nehwal leading the pack, North Eastern Warriors emerge as serious contenders

TK Engineering Consortium Pvt Ltd North Eastern Warriors, who made their foray in the PBL last year have shaped up an extremely competitive squad for the new season ahead. With a good balance in both the singles and doubles department, coupled with a quite a few big names in the lineup, North Eastern Warriors looks like serious contenders for the PBL4 title.

Singles

File image of Saina Nehwal. Reuters

File image of Saina Nehwal. Reuters

Saina Nehwal (Icon): First Indian shuttler to win an Olympic medal, Saina Nehwal ’s incredulous feats are a testament itself to what she has achieved. Having plied her tried for the Awadhe Warriors in the first three editions of the PBL and with a new season in the offing, Saina is ready to go all guns blazing to get the PBL trophy missing from her cabinet. A tigress on court, she is once again ready to spearhead the attack from the front in a bid to propel the Warriors to their maiden PBL title.

Tian Houwei (MS): The first Chinese to feature in PBL when he debuted last year for the Delhi Dashers, Tian Houwei will be seen donning the North Eastern Warriors outfit for the upcoming edition. Winning the China Masters earlier in the year, the badminton veteran’s addition will add on to the firepower in the singles lineup of the Warriors.

Tanongsak Sansomboonsuk (MS): The first Thai player to win a Superseries, Tanongsak Sansomboonsuk is yet another foreign name to make their debut in the PBL. With a host of laurels in his kitty that include 7 South East Asian Games medal and a bronze at 2010 Asiad, Sansomboonsuk has enjoyed an illustrious career since his foray and will bank on his experience to churn out results in a bid to push NE Warrior to their maiden PBL title.

Rituparna Das (WS): Dynamic, energetic and renowned for her deceptive stroke play, Rituparna Das will add a young mix to the singles department of the Warriors. Having featured for the Awadhe Warriors and Bengaluru Blasters previously in the PBL, Rituparna is familiar with the challenges of the league and will be looking to make a strong impact in the upcoming 4th edition of the PBL.

Doubles

Kim Ha Na (XD): Winning her first ever title in India (India Open) in 2012, it will be a sweet homecoming for the South Korean shuttler and she looks extremely upbeat to play for the Warriors in PBL4. 2014 Asiad silver winner, Kim H-Na has comparatively had a silent year but is keen to reverse that when she takes the court for the North Eastern Warriors in the new season.

Yoo Yeon Seong (MD): Former World No 2 and a South Korean stalwart, Yoo Yeon Seong was an integral cog of the title-winning Hyderabad Hunters squad last season. His signing gives a major boost to the Warriors’ doubles lineup and the PBL veteran will look to make his experience count in shouldering and guiding the North East franchise towards glory.

Liao Min Chun (MD): 2014 Asiad bronze winner, Taiwan’s Liao Min Chun is another star attraction in the Warriors’ doubles lineup. With umpteen experience under his belt, his addition gives North East a strong edge and makes them a force to reckon against. A doubles maestro, the Taiwanese looks forward to making his PBL debut with a bang.

Kukkapalli Maneesha (XD): Winner at the Lagos International and the Hellas International, Kukkapalli Maneesha has garnered an international repute for herself and looked in fine form this year. She has previously plied her trade in the PBL for the Awadhe Warriors and the Delhi Acers. Having partnered with the likes of Satwiksairaj, Manu Attri, Kidambi Nandagopal, she will be high on confidence and looks confident of having a good outing in PBL4.

Indian Juniors

Dhruv Kapila (MD): Winner of the Kharkiv International in Ukraine earlier in the year, young Indian shuttler Dhruv Kapila will look to finish the year on a high and make his PBL debut in style.

Siril Verma (MS): Semi-finalist at the Ghana International, former Junior World No 1, Siril Verma is a promising shuttler who has come up the ranks swiftly and is excited to learn from some of the best in the business.


Updated Date: Dec 08, 2018 11:55 AM

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