Miffed with the organisers' last-minute decision to slash her base price at the IBL auction despite being listed in Icon players category, ace doubles shuttler Jwala Gutta on Wednesday said she will let her racquet do the talking in the Indian Badminton League.
"The minimum thing we expected was to be informed. Nevertheless, I am very happy to be part of IBL. I am very much looking forward to it. Badminton court is my territory and that's where I will do most of my talking. I will let my racquet speak for myself," Jwala told reporters here.
Controversy erupted after Gutta and another doubles specialist Ashwini Ponappa lashed out at the IBL for what they termed was "unfair" on them.
"If I speak up people either say she is complaining or she is a rebel. I have already been labelled a rebel. But whatever happened wasn't expected," she said.
Commonwealth Games women's doubles champions Jwala and Ponnappa were two of the six icon players, who went under the hammer on Monday but just hours ahead of the player's auction, the IBL decided to reduce price from USD 50,000 (Rs 29,86,264) to USD 25,000 (14,93,125) after consultation with the six franchises.
In the auction, Jwala went to Krrish Delhi Smashers at USD 31,000 (Rs 18,51,520), while Pune Pistons bagged Ashwini for the base price of USD 25,000.
Jwala said it was her performances at the international level that popularised the doubles format in the country.
"I have done a lot for the country. I have won medals and given lots of performances. In doubles there was nobody before me. I have changed how people look at doubles. People are expecting a lot from doubles after my performances," Gutta said.
"It is painful. We are also working hard. I don't get involved in politics but I am always dragged into it. I have become habituated to it now."
"When you sign a contract stating that you are an icon player, who wouldn't be sad or feel cheated or let down. I have promoted IBL like no other player. I have been to many cities to promote it. I thought icon players will be treated equally," Jwala said.
Asked if removing women's doubles event from the league could be the reason behind her fetching a low sum, Jwala said: "IBL franchises know that I am a doubles player. If they are expecting singles from me then I don't know what to say. I am a doubles specialists in the country. My services will only be for doubles."
"In mixed doubles I have been in top-six in the world. So nobody can question me about that also. If they (organisers) are thinking that women's doubles are cut that's why Jwala's base price has been reduced, that's a very stupid thing because singles players are also going to play in singles only," she reasoned.
Jwala said she will give her 100 per cent for her franchise. "I don't want to get into blame game. I am looking forward to play for Delhi. I am ready to give my 100 per cent. I am not a quitter. I love the game. I am enjoying the game. I am sure IBL will be colourful and fans will see exciting and close battles," she said.