Badminton

PBL won’t be profitable till fifth year, says BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma

“The agreement between the Licensee and BAI is for 10 years and we had initially calculated that the league wouldn’t be profitable till fifth year,” said Sarma.

Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Himanta Biswa Sarma feels the next three editions of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) will be crucial as the lucrative league is likely to make profit only after the fifth year.

“The agreement between the Licensee and BAI is for 10 years and we had initially calculated that the league wouldn’t be profitable till fifth year,” Sarma told PTI.

“So now our agreement with Star TV will come for renewal on the fifth year and only thereafter the league will be profitable. This is the third edition and so another two years there will be a bit of challenge. So for next two years probably we will have to be a bit defensive.”

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Sarma, who was appointed the interim head following the sudden demise of former president Akhilesh Das Gupta in April, also reiterated that the pending court cases with Sporty Solutionz will have no bearing on the PBL 3, starting on December 23.

“BAI’s dispute with Sporty Solutionz is strictly limited to claims and counter claims. I think franchises shouldn’t feel anyway disturbed or demotivated that some litigation is going on. It is an old litigation,” he said.

Sporty Solutionz had sought a stay on the PBL till the issue is settled and the hearing is scheduled for December 11.

Sarma said: “Last time also they asked for a stay. Normally in arbitration case, court decides on the claim and counter claim in terms of money.”

“As far as staying is concerned, Courts don’t normally interfere and last time also they asked for a stay and court didn’t give. I strongly believe this time also the occasion will not arrive,” he added.

The eight-team league currently has only six franchise owners, with the Delhi and Mumbai teams being governed by the BAI’s governing council for now.

Sarma said: “This time we have increased the number of teams to eight and out of them, franchises have acquired six teams. Delhi and Mumbai are with SportzLive, but I think these two also will be sold, it is in the process of selling.

“Teams of Delhi and Mumbai will play in the league but when they will have a franchise, that is a decision to be taken by Sporty Solutionz. We have given that mandate to them. Whether these teams will be sold or not sold, we will not come into that picture,” he added.

‘Will soon decide the next Senior Nationals schedule’

After the resounding success of the Senior National Championship in Nagpur last month, Sarma said he will be meeting the players during the inauguration of PBL and India Super Series in Delhi to decide the schedule for the next edition of the event.

“Next year during the Delhi Super Series, I will get a chance to meet all the players and we will decide the slot. The players are committed to play. It was decided that they will have the meeting among themselves and let us know the schedule. So during the PBL inauguration and Delhi Super series, I am going to meet them,” he said.

There were some criticism regarding the timing of the Nationals which was held ahead of the China Super Series Premier and Hong Kong Super series.

A few players such as Ajay Jayaram and Pranaav Jerry Chopra were injured during the tournament, while Kidambi Srikanth had aggravated a leg injury during the Senior Nationals.

“Srikanth had told me at Nagpur before the tournament that he is not playing at China since he was playing back to back tournaments. So that was pre-decided but regarding Pranaav and Ajay’s injury I am not aware,” he said.

“Nagpur stadium is a superb stadium, players can get injured even abroad. That hazard is always there but this time no injuries reported linking it to Nationals. Playing nationals in more important, otherwise we will not get next generation of players,” he added.

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.