With Indian badminton getting enhanced recognition, Tata Group and Tata Capital in association with the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) on Tuesday announced the 2012 edition of the 'Tata Open India International Challenge' tournament.
Contingents form Indonesia, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thiland and hosts India will take part in it.
The meet, carries prize money of US$ 15,000 , will be underway at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), here from Dec 12 to Dec 16.
The qualifying rounds will be held on Dec 12.
The main draw will commence from Dec 13 with finals taking place on Dec 16.
Oliver Guruge of Sri Lanka will be the referee of this tournament.
In the Men Singles, Saurabh Varma (last year's National Champion and World No.34) is the top seed and the no. 2 seed is Guru Sai Dutt (World ranked No.42).
Former National Champion and former World top 25 player Anup Sridhar too will be seen in action. There are many young Koreans, Malaysians and Indonesians in the fray to challenge the seeded players.
Similarly, in Women Singles, Simone Prutsch of Austria (World ranked No.71) is the top seed.
Current National Champion Sayali Gokhale, former Tata Open Champion, PC Thulasi, young Korean and Indonesian girls are all likely to make this an action packed contest.
In Men's Doubles, the star attraction will be one of the best doubles/mixed players in the World Badminton Lee Yong Dae of Korea (London Olympics Bronze Medalist).
Also in the fray are Malaysians Nelson Wei Keat Heg and Ee Yi Teo, seeded at No.4. There are also young Indonesians, Chinese Taipei, Korean combinations along with two Indian pairs Arun Vishnu/Tarun Kona and Pranav Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar, who will make a bid for the title.
Indonesia with 30 players, Malaysia with 19 players, Chinese Taipei with 18 players and Korea with 17 players are the main contenders along with India with 91 players. This event is a part of Badminton World Federation's ranking circuit and young players gain valuable ranking points.
Speaking on the occasion, Atul Agrawal, Vice President-Corporate Affairs, Tata Services Ltd., said, "The Tata Group has always been a keen supporter of nation-building activities, academics and sport. Tata Open India International Challenge provides a great platform for Indian badminton players to compete with their international counterparts."
Amar Sinhji, Head HR, Tata Capital Ltd, said, "We at Tata Capital are proud to partner an initiative like the Tata Open India International Challenge that not only patronizes the sport but also gives the Indian badminton community an opportunity to experience and be part of a world class tournament."
Prakash Padukone, Director, Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, said, "As the sport gains popularity in India, especially after an Olympic win, we at PPBA are greatly encouraged to host the 5th Tata Open.
"The tournament has received excellent response from internationally ranked players yet again and promises to be a visual feast for badminton enthusiasts. The Tata open continues to serve as an excellent platform for players to gain exposure and better their world rankings."
The Cricket Club of India, Mumbai hosts the tournament at their world-class air-conditioned courts. Yonex shuttlecocks would be used for the tournament.