At PBL (Premier badminton League) players’ auction, held yesterday, Saina Nehwal and Lee Chong Wei were the costliest buys, fetching a whopping $100,000 and Indian shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth were bought for $95,000 and $80,000 respectively.
World no.1 Lee Chong, was bought by Hyderabad Hunters and World No. 2 Saina was bought by Awadh Warriors of Lucknow, respectively for Rs. 66,70,745 each in an closed door bidding.
Sindhu was bought by Vijakant son Shanmugapandian owned Chennai Smashers for approximately Rs 63,37,207. The Swiss Open and India Super Series winner and World No. 9 Srikanth, was attracted fierce bids from Bangalore Top Guns and Mumbai Rockets, before being bought by the former, for around Rs 53,40,756.
Indonesian player Tommy Sugiarto, who had won over Srikanth, at Indonesia Masters Grand Prix Gold finals, held last week, was bought by Delhi Acers for Rs 49,36,351.
Parupalli Kashyap, the commonwealth games champion, went to Hyderabad for $35,000 (Rs 23,347,60), just like Ajay Jayaram, bought by Delhi Acers.
Men’s doubles player B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri was brought for $25,000 (Rs 16,67,686) by Bengaluru Top Guns and Mumbai Rockets respectively.
Being the 2010 Commonwealth Games champions, Jwala Gutta was bought by Hyderabad and Ashwini Ponnappa by Bangalore for $30,000.
Promising Indian shuttler HS Prannoy fetched $47,000 (Rs 31,35,250) from the Mumbai franchise, owned by Devyani Leisures Pvt. Ltd, while Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboosuk, who had a base price of $15,000, fetched $41,000 from Awadhe Warriors.
A total of 6 teams - Hyderabad Hunters, Mumbai Rockets, Delhi Acers, Bengaluru Top Guns, Awadh Warriors, Chennai Smashers are going to invest $270,000 (Rs 1,80,11,011)
As specified, Saina and Lee Chong Wei would not be in PBL auction, as they were sold in a closed-door auction in which five franchises bid $100,000, which is the maximum permissible amount for the Indian superstar.
As part of the new PBL rules, the decision was reached through a lottery. Though Mumbai and Hyderabad struggled to get Lee Chong Wei and even got ready to bid the maximum again, but after a draw of lots, the Malaysian went to Hyderabad, owned by Agile Security Force Pvt. Ltd.
Though, there was dilemma in the auction process in the beginning, at the end, all the franchises are found happy with their respective buys.
By Phani Ch