Badminton fans will be witness to a keen contest as 250 shuttlers from India and 12 other countries battle it out for one of the most coveted and fiercely contested events in the sport, the 12th annual edition of India International Challenge tournament. This prestigious event, which has been conducted every year since 2008, is being re-christened as the Infosys Foundation India International Challenge 2019 from this year.
The tournament will take place at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), Mumbai, from November 20-24. It will be supported by the Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic and CSR arm of Infosys, and conducted by the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA). The tournament will award a total prize money of USD 25,000. Ms. Fariba Madadi from Iran will be the referee for the 2019 edition.
Apart from Indian players, this year will see participation from star players from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and upcoming players from countries like Russia, USA, Bhutan, among others.
The qualifying rounds of the tournament will commence on November 20, and the main draw from November 21- 23. The finals will take place on November 24, 2019.
In line with its commitment to support and encourage excellence across sports in India, Infosys Foundation has chosen to sponsor the Infosys Foundation India International Challenge. Since 2008, the tournament has been hosted by the Cricket Club of India is organised under the auspices of the Maharashtra Badminton Association (MBA) and the Badminton Association of India. It is also sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the Badminton Asia Confederations (BAC). The Infosys Foundation India International Challenge is part of the international circuit of badminton tournaments that earns ranking points for players.
The tournament will see ace shuttlers compete in all formats of the game, including Men’s and Women’s Singles, Men’s and Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. The top seeds include players from India, Hong Kong, Russia, U.S.A., and Malaysia.
In the Men’s Singles event, the No.1 and No.2 seed players include Valdimir Malkov (Russia) and Ajay Jayaram (India). The category will see young international players from India, Malaysia and Thailand challenge one another.
In the Women Singles, World Ranked 38 Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand and Mugda Agrey of India are expected to give a tough competition to other players.
Under the Men’s Doubles category, the tournament will witness the Indian duo of Sumeet Reddy and Manu Atri, seeded No.1, along with the American pair of Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew, who are seeded at No.2, give their best for the title.
The Women’s Doubles category will see the dynamic and top-seed Russian duo Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Davletova challenge the Indian pair Meghana and Poorvisha, who are seeded second.
In the Mixed Doubles group, the Russian pair and World No.27 Rodion Alimov and Alina Davletova are the ones to watch out for.
Prakash Padukone, Founder and Director, Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA), said, “Indian shuttlers are making their mark on international courts and this has led to a surge of interest in the sport, taking it from just a game played during holidays to a serious sport at a competitive level. PPBA is proud to contribute to the growth of badminton as a competitive sport in the country, and is delighted to be a part of this event for the 12th year in succession. The Infosys Foundation India International Challenge offers a unique opportunity to young badminton talent who are keen to prove their mettle against both promising and established players on an international platform. The ranking points from this event are taken into consideration during the Olympic Qualification of players next year and hence, the competition is bound to be tough and exciting.”
Mrs. Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation, said, “Real education to me is one that is holistic. Physically, mentally a young academic should continuously seek to learn, and sports, I feel, is an integral part of that education. PPBA is one of the most well-known sports academies in India, which encourages and promotes talent in Badminton, especially focusing on those who have seen economic hardships and yet, are determined to pursue this sport. That is the reason Infosys Foundation decided to join hands with PPBA to help hone these brilliant, talented youngsters, so that they shine in Badminton, globally. The Infosys Foundation India International Challenge is a unique platform where badminton sportspersons from across the world will meet, exchange ideas and endeavor to learn from each other. We wish the tournament success.”
The Infosys Foundation India International Challenge will be held at the state-of-the-art air-conditioned courts at CCI Mumbai, and the equipment will be supported/sponsored by leading manufacturer Yonex.