New Delhi: Top stars Saina Nehwal and Lee Chong Wei were the costliest buys, fetching the maximum prize of $100,000, while Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth were bought for a whopping $95,000 and $80,000 respectively at the rechristened Premier badminton League (PBL) players' auction yesterday.
World No 2 Saina and former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei were bought by Awadh Warriors of Lucknow and Hyderabad Hunters respectively for approx Rs 66,70,745 each in a last-minute pre-auction bidding on Sunday night even though their names were mentioned in the players list which went under the hammer yesterday.
Saina and Lee Chong Wei were not part of the auction yesterday as they were sold in a closed-door auction in which five franchises bid $100,000 — the maximum permissible amount — for the Indian superstar. The decision was reached through a lottery as part of the new PBL rules.
Mumbai and Hyderabad wanted to buy Lee Chong Wei and both bid the maximum again but after a draw of lots, the Malaysian went to Hyderabad, owned by Agile Security Force Pvt. Ltd.
Bidding war for Sindhu
Two-time bronze medallist at the World Championship and winner of Macau Open, Sindhu found herself in the middle of an aggressive bidding today among Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai and she was finally bought by Chennai Smashers for approximately R63,37,207.
Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, who is recovering from an injury, went to Hyderabad for $35,000 (approx Rs 23,347,60), men's doubles player B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri went for their base price of $25,000 (approx Rs 16,67,686) to Bengaluru Top Guns and Mumbai Rockets respectively.
2010 Commonwealth Games champion Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa also went for their base price of $25,000 to their homes cities — Hyderabad and Bengaluru respectively, while HS Prannoy fetched $47,000 (approx Rs 31,35,250) from Mumbai franchise, owned by Devyani Leisures Pvt Ltd.
Russia's Vladimir Ivanov was bought by Mumbai Rockets for $42,000 (approx Rs 28,01,712), England's Rajiv Ouseph and Indonesia Masters champion Tommy Sugiarto were taken by Delhi Acers for $36,000 (approx Rs 24,01,468) and $74,000 (approx Rs 49,36,351) respectively. PBL will kick-start on January 2 in Mumbai.