HYDERABAD — Top Indian shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were retained by their respective franchises at the players auction of the Premier Badminton League here Oct. 9.
Each retained player gets a 25 percent hike in salary from last year, while players who are bought by using the ‘Right to Match’ card only get a 10 percent increase from the last year’s selling price.
So, defending champions Chennai Smashers retained Olympic silver medalist 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, fetched Rs. 39 lakhs during the last auction.
Nehwal, who had returned with a bronze medal from Glasgow, was retained for Rs. 4,125,000. She was retained by Awadhe Warriors for the base price of Rs. 33 lakhs last season.
Kidambi Srikanth, who clinched back-to-back titles in 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. 5,610,000.
H.S. Prannoy was picked up by the Ahmedabad Smash Masters for Rs. 62 lakh
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 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.
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 medalist Carolina Marin from Spain was bought by the 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 the Bengaluru Blasters for Rs. 50 lakhs, while World No. 2 Son Wan Ho and World number 5 Sung Ji Hyun went to the Delhi Acers for Rs. 50 lakhs each.
Chinese Taipei's Tzu Wei Wang, who is ranked 10th in the world in men’s singles, will be the icon player for the North Eastern Warriors after he was bought by them for Rs. 52 lakhs.
Olympics silver medalist in doubles, Christinna Pedersen became the most expensive doubles player after she was picked up by the Awadhe Warriors for Rs. 42 lakhs.
Pedersen’s partner Kamilla Rytter Juhl went to the 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 the Delhi Acers for Rs. 20 lakhs, while Manu Attri was picked by the Bengaluru Blasters for Rs. 17 lakhs.
India’s top mixed doubles player, Pranaav Jerry Chopra, was taken by Delhi Acers for Rs. 18 lakhs, while young doubles player Arathi Sara Sunil will make her PBL debut for Delhi Acers, who bought her for Rs. 3 lakhs.
Top Indian men's shuttlers made a killing with H.S. Prannoy and Srikanth emerging as the most expensive buys at the auction.
According to the rules, 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.