- Saina Nehwal bought by Awadh Warriors of Lucknow.
- Lee Chong Wei bought by Hyderabad Hunters.
December 7, 2015
New Delhi: Top stars Saina Nehwal and Lee Chong Wei were the costliest buys, fetching a whopping USD 100,000, while Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth were bought for USD 95,000 and USD 80,000 respectively at the rechristened Premier Badminton League (PBL) players’ auction here on Monday.
World No. 2 Saina and former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei were bought by Awadh Warriors of Lucknow and Hyderabad Hunters respectively for USD100000 each in the PBL Auction.
Two-time Bronze Medallist at the World Championship and three times winner of Macau Open, Sindhu found herself in the middle of an aggressive bidding today among Delhi Acers, Mumbai Rockets and Chennai Smashers and she was finally bought by Chennai Smashers for USD 95000.
World No. 9 Srikanth, who won the Swiss Open and India Super Series this season, attracted fierce bids from Bangalore Top Guns and Mumbai Rockets before being bought by the former for USD 80000.
Indonesian player Tommy Sugiarto, who had beaten Srikanth at the finals of Indonesia Masters Grand Prix Gold last week, was picked by Delhi Acers for USD 74,000.
Among other Indians, Commonwealth Games Champion Parupalli Kashyap went to Hyderabad Hunters for USD 35,000 same as Ajay Jayaram, who went to Delhi Acers.
Men’s Doubles player B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri went for their base price of USD 25,000 to Bengaluru Top Guns and Mumbai Rockets respectively.
2010 Commonwealth Games Champion Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa went for USD 30,000 to their homes cities — Hyderabad and Bengaluru respectively.
Promising Indian Shuttler HS Prannoy fetched USD 47,000 from Mumbai Rockets while Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboosuk fetched USD 41000 from Awadhe Warriors.
Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov was bought by Mumbai Rockets for USD 42,000 while England’s Rajiv Ouseph was taken by Delhi Acers for USD 36,000 during the auction.
Six Teams — Hyderabad Hunters, Mumbai Rockets, Delhi Acers, Bengaluru Top Guns, Awadh Warriors, Chennai Smashers – each had a total purse of USD 275000.
In the end the franchises seemed satisfied with their buys.
Speaking on the sidelines of the auction, Upinder Zutshi, CEO & MD, ICS, Delhi Acers said: “We are very satisfied with players that we have bought. We tried to take PV Sindhu but it was Chennai Smashers who were lucky. The rules for the auction are transparent and clear and we too were keen to buy Saina Nehwal but it was Awadh Warriors who finally took her”.
Kalai, Chennai Smashers said: “We were adamant to pick PV Sindhu and we successfully did so. We are happy that we have her in our team. We have managed to get good players in our team”.
Speaking on Saina Nehwal in Awadh Warriors, Abhijit Sarkar, Team Owner said: “We are very happy to have Saina Nehwal in our team. The team that we have in place looks complete and we are confident and excited about the League”.
Commenting on the proceedings, Vagish Pathak, Mumbai Rockets Owner said: “We are satisfied with the players that we have in the team. We were aiming to get Vladimir Ivanov, HS Prannoy and Manu Attri in our team and I am happy that we got him”.
Dr. VRK Rao, Team Owner for Hyderabad Hunters said: Lee Chong Wei was the biggest catch for us and having P Kashyap, Jwala Gutta and Markis Kido adds more strength to the team”.
Prasad Mangipudi, MD, Bangalore Top Guns said, “We are very happy with the acquisition of a star player like Srikanth. The team composition is on the lines we had planned for and we believe the squad we have is capable of winning PBL”.
The lucrative tournament, now known as PBL, will kick-start on January 2 in Mumbai with an extravagant opening ceremony and the grand finale will take place here on January 17.