While India's Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu and London bronze winner Saina Nehwal suffer with low price bids, current Olympic champion Carolina Marin seemed to be the hot favourite of all. At the end of the auction of the second edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) on Wednesday, Carolina of Spain was bagged by Hyderabad Hunters for Rs 61.5 lakh, becoming the costliest buy.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Expectations were high, but Sindhu went to Chennai Smashers for Rs 39 lakh only after outbidding Hyderabad by Rs 50,000. This was one of the main attractions of the event as Sindhu was expected to get the highest bid after her smashing performance at Rio.
"In the draw of lots my name came out last so I got less but it is okay. I am just happy to be back with Chennai. After all, no one will think about the money but will remember how Indian badminton is growing and that is what matters," Sindhu told the media, as reported by Firstpost.
- World No. 6 Saina Nehwal went to Awadhe Warriors for Rs 33 lakh. Saina and Lee Chong Wei were the costliest bids at $100,000 during the first edition.
- The second highest bid went for South Korean woman shuttler Sung Ji Hyun, with Mumbai Rockets paying Rs 60 lakh for her.
- Two-time world champion Carolina proved to be the biggest attention of the auction, with Hyderabad Hunters and Delhi Acers getting involved in a close battle for her. Finally, Hyderabad bid the highest, spending one-third of their maximum permitted penny on just one player.
- Among other top Indian names, Awadhe Warriors paid Rs 51 lakh for shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, who had reached the quarter-finals at Rio Olympics.
- H S Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram were bought by Mumbai Rockets for Rs 22 lakh and 19 lakh respectively, B Sai Praneeth was taken by Hyderabad for Rs 21 lakh and Chinese Taipei champion Sourabh Verma for 13 lakh by Bangaluru.
- Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa were taken for Rs 10 lakh each by Delhi and Blasters, respectively.
- The winners of the league will win Rs 3 crore and the runners-up will go home with Rs 1.5 crore. The losing semifinalists will get Rs 75 lakh each.
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