Kuala Lumpur: A new Malaysian badminton league called Malaysia Purple League (MPL) is set to get underway later this year (from September 2014 to February 2015) which will see twelve franchises taking part in the RM2 million overall prize money competition.
The MPL will feature the best Malaysia players such as superstar Lee Chong Wei and new, emerging talent, as well as some of the great badminton stars from China, Korea and Europe. The league is expected to feature Lin Dan, Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng, Lee Yong-dae and Markis Kido.
The twelve franchises are either owned or managed by former badminton players such as Lee Wan Wah, Datuk Misbun Sidek, Jalani Sidek, Ong Ewe Hock, Foo Kok Keong, Lim Pek Siah and Chor Hooi Yee. About 3.9 million household can watch the competition live on Astro Arena (Channel 801).
Each franchise can include up to four foreign players in a season. The franchises could acquire players from players auction; and each club can only bid on a maximum of two players who ranked in the world top 32 – to make sure no franchise especially rich franchise could spend large amount of money to monopolize huge pool of high quality players. In term of the game format, each match in a tie will be played on a best of 11 points in three games.
Lee Chong Wei was excited with the new league, saying: “I have played in many leagues in different countries, but this is the special one, because it will be held at home and I am looking forward to a quality showing from all clubs.”
According to Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, the league would help unearth talented young shuttlers who can one day replace players like Datuk Lee Chong Wei.
“The league will be platform to unearth raw talent. If the raw talent is unearthed at the age of 10, the talent can be groomed to take over from Chong Wei after 10 years,” he said.
Other information about the league:
1. A club will have a maximum of 20 players.
2. Foreign players are allowed to play a maximum of one match per tie.
3. Player transfer will be established.
4. Points awarded: win (4 pts), draw (2 pts), loss (1 pt).
5. Composition of the tie (two men’s singles, two men’s doubles, one women’s singles and one mixed doubles).