Top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were retained by their respective franchises at the players auction of the Premier Badminton League (PBL). Each retained player gets a 25 per cent hike in his/her salary from last year, while players who are bought by using the ‘Right-To-Match’ card only get a 10 per cent increase from the last year’s selling price.
So, defending champions Chennai Smashers retained Olympic silver medallist Sindhu for Rs 48.75 lakhs. The 22-year-old, who recently won a silver at the World Championship at Glasgow and clinched the Korea Super Series, had fetched Rs 39 lakhs during the last auction, according to a PTI report.
Saina, who had returned with a bronze medal from Glasgow, was retained for Rs 41,25,000. She was retained by Awadhe Warriors for the base price of Rs 33 lakhs last season.
Srikanth, who clinched back-to-back titles at Indonesia and Australia, will also play for his old team Awadhe Warriors after they used the ‘Right To Match’ card. He will now make Rs 56,10,000.
Among others, doubles players — India’s Satwik Sairaj, Korea’s Lee Young Dae and Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov — were all retained by their old teams and were not be part of the auction.
According to the rules, old teams can retain one player and the franchise can use one right to match, while new teams can use one right to match for players who are making their debut in PBL.
There will be 11 players in each franchise with a maximum of five foreign players and minimum of three women players and each team need to spend minimum of Rs. 2.12 crore.
The players auction started after more than two hours delay and the first player to go under the hammer was the women’s world no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, one of the nine icon players, who was bought by Ahmedabad Smash Masters for Rs 52 lakhs.
Rio Olympics gold medallist Carolina Marin from Spain was bought by Hyderabad Hunters, the team she played last season, for a base price of Rs 50 lakhs.
Newly crowned world champion and World No. 1 Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen was bought by his old team Bengaluru Blasters for Rs 50 lakhs, while world number 2 Son Wan Ho and World number 5 Sung Ji Hyun went to Delhi Acers for Rs 50 lakh each.
Chinese Taipei’s Tzu Wei Wang, who is ranked 10th in the world in men’s singles, will be the icon player for North Eastern Warriors after he was bought by them for Rs 52 lakhs.
Olympics silver medallist in doubles, Christinna Pedersen became the most expensive doubles player after she was picked up by Awadhe Warriors for Rs 42 lakh.
Pedersen’s partner Kamilla Rytter Juhl went to Ahmedabad Smash Masters for Rs 35 lakhs.
Doubles specialists Prajakta Sawant and Chirag Shetty were bought by North Eastern Warriors for Rs 7 lakhs and 5 lakhs respectively, India’s top doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa went to Delhi Acers for Rs 20 lacs, while Manu Attri was picked by Bengaluru Blasters for Rs 17 lakh.
India’s top mixed doubles player, Pranaav Jerry Chopra, was taken by Delhi Acers for Rs 18 lacs, while young doubles player Arathi Sara Sunil will make her PBL debut for Delhi Acers, who bought her for Rs 3 lakhs.