New Delhi, Dec 7: India’s Sai Nehwal and Malaysian veteran Lee Chong Wei were bagged by Awadh Warriors and Hyderabad Hotshots, respectively, for $1,00,000 each in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) players’ auction here on Monday. The third most expensive player was double World championship bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu who was spped up by Cheni Smashers for $95,000 — $45,000 more than the talented Indian’s base price. Delhi Acers and Mumbai Rockets fought till the end before Cheni took the 20-year-old.
World No.9 male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth also received a strong bidding and was sold for $80,000 to Bengaluru Top Guns. His compatriot, No.14 Parupalli Kashyap had to be content with a price of $35,000. The 2014 Commonwealth Games champion went to Hyderbad. While Srikanth had a base price of $50,000, Kashyap’s base price was $25,000.
With $1,00,000 being the maximum bid for a player, the bidding for the two established players saw several franchises offering the highest purse for them.
In the end, according to the PBL rules, a lottery was held and it was decided that Olympic bronze medal winner Sai will play for the Lucknow-based side while two-time Olympic silver medallist Chong Wei will turn out for Hyderabad.
Sai, earlier, played for Hyderabad in the now disbanded Indian Badminton League (IBL).
Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Akhilesh Das Gupta revealed that the auction for Olympic bronze medallist Sai and Chong Wei happened on Sunday and as many as five franchises wanted to buy the 25-year-old Indian. Das Gupta said all the franchises were consulted on the decision.
Sai will play the opening match of the tourment in Mumbai, the BAI president confirmed.
Meanwhile former No.1 Chong Wei attracted bids for Hyderabad and Mumbai. No auction took place for established doubles players Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponppa. Jwala and Ashwini were sold for their base prices each of $25,000 to Hyderabad and Bengaluru, which also bagged B. Sumeeth Reddy for $25,000. Among the overseas players, No.12 Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia was bought by Delhi for $74,000 - a jump of $24,000 from his base price.
Russian Vladmir Ivanov was bagged by Mumbai for $42,000, while Malaysian doubles specialist Koo Kiet Kan went to Delhi for $36,000. IANS