Gopichand defends IBL decision
National coach Pullela Gopichand today defended Indian Badminton League (IBL)'s decision to reduce the base price of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa before the Player's auction, saying it was done so that the doubles specialists do not incur financial loss
"We never thought that badminton would have such money. Many players' are all excited. With due respect to what they (Gutta and Ponappa) are saying, I think the IBL is ensuring that the players are not at a financial loss," he said. "It's great for Indian badminton. The kind of money the players will get is phenomenal. I hope this issue is resolved and we must move on because what is happening is unprecedented in world badminton," the former all-England champion said here.
Here to inaugurate the All-India Sub Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament at the Sidhu Kanu Indoor Stadium, Gopichand hailed the initiative and added: "Something like this has huge benefits for sport, for badminton, for existing players and future generations.
We all need to welcome and move on to take it in a positive direction." Gutta and Ponnappa, who were Commonwealth Games 2010 doubles champions, are two of the six icon players in the Indian Badminton League (IBL). But ahead of the auction on Sunday, the IBL governing council slashed their base price from USD 50,000 to USD 25,000 after discussing with the six franchises.
Jwala and Ashwini hit out at the organisers terming the decision as "disrespectful". The inaugural edition of the tournament will be held from August 14-31 involving six franchises -- Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Lucknow.