After Saina Nehwal pulled out from the upcoming edition of the Premier Badminton League on Sunday, it was the turn of another former world No 1 to do the same on Monday. Men’s singles shuttler Srikanth Kidambi announced that he will not be taking part in the tournament, to focus more on the international calendar.
Srikanth, who has had a poor season on the BWF World Tour, has found some form recently when he reached the semi-final of Hong Kong Open. But, he has still not won a title on the circuit in 2019 and has seen his ranking slip to No 11 in the world.
“It’s a tough road ahead. Need to go full throttle and fulfill the expectations that lie on me. Hence, I won’t be playing PBL this year to focus more on International events. Wish Raptors all the very best and hope for a smashing season this year as well,” Srikanth tweeted on Monday.
The fifth edition of PBL gets underway on January 20, 2020. The upcoming season, which concludes on February 9, will be staged this time in Chennai, Delhi, Lucknow, and Bangalore.
While the Srikanth-led Bengaluru Raptors had lifted the trophy in the last edition, Hyderabad Hunters, Chennai Smashers, Delhi Dashers, and Hyderabad Hotshots are the other winners of the franchise-based league.
On Sunday, Nehwal had confirmed her withdrawal from the tournament as well on social media.
Scroll.in understands that more top Indian shuttlers will be pulling out of the upcoming edition, with some prominent names missing from the list of players made available for auction. A confirmation is expected after an official meeting.