World Champion P.V Sindhu was retained on Tuesday by Hyderabad Hunters for Rs.77 lakh during the auction for the fifth season of the Premier Badminton League.
Also, the World number one women single’s player Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei was bought by defending Champions Bengaluru Raptors for the joint highest amount of Rs.77 lakh after there was a bidding war with Pune 7 Aces.
Sai Praneeth, who is another top Indian player, was retained by Bengaluru Raptors as well for Rs.32 lakh.
Other Indian players who were retained by their respective owners are men doubles players Sumeeth Reddy [Rs.11 lakh] by Chennai Superstars and Chirag Shetty [ Rs.15.50 lakh] by Pune 7 Aces.
Beiwan Zhang, who is the world’s number nine American women’s single-player, has also been retained by Awadhe Warriors for Rs.39 lakhs.
Gayatri Gopichand, who is a daughter to National Badminton coach Puella Gopichand, was acquired by Chennai Superstars her home team North Eastern Warriors, have now bought the young Ashmita Chalihawhile, who plays for the Assamese Sutter for Rs.3 lakhs.
The Premier Badminton League season 5 became less attractive after the London Olympics bronze medalist Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth pulled out of the event to focus on their international careers. While Saina, who played for the North Eastern Warriors in the last Premier Badminton League, also pulled out of the 2020 event in preparation for the upcoming international season. Srikanth has revealed he wants to focus on the global events ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Sai Praneeth, Lakshya Sen, together with 154 players and men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, were also part of the auction.
The following audition of the PBL will see a total of 74 Indian shuttlers in action from January 20 to February 9, with the format maintaining its status quo consisting of five matches [two men singles, one women singles, one men doubles, and one mixed twin].
Written by: Olumide Akinnifesi