HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth among PBL's top buys
As the Premier Badminton League (PBL) auction concluded, Indian shuttler HS Prannoy emerged as the costliest buy for the upcoming edition of the tournament. At Rs. 62 lakh he was picked up by PBL's debutant franchise Ahmedabad Smash Masters. Kidambi Srikanth retained by Awadhe Warriors for Rs. 56 lakh, is the second most expensive player in the league.
Premier Badminton League 2018
The third edition of Premier Badminton League is scheduled to take place from 22 Dec 2017 to 14 Jan 2018. The upcoming season will be an eight-team affair with addition of new teams from Ahmedabad and Guwahati. All in all, the teams include : Ahmedabad Smash Masters, Awadhe Warriors, Bengaluru Blasters, Chennai Smashers, Hyderabad Hunters, Infinite Delhi Acers, Mumbai Rockets, and North Eastern Warriors.
133 players up for auction
133 players were up for auction to be bought by 8 teams, each of which was allowed to buy a maximum of 11 players. There were total 9 icon players, 3 of whom were Indians. Represented by 11 countries, it had 17 top-10 ranked players.
Sindhu, Saina retained by their respective teams
Apart from Srikanth, India's star badminton players PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were also retained by their teams Chennai Smashers and Awadhe Warriors, respectively. A 25% hike in their salary for retained players meant that it has costed the Chennai side Rs. 48.75 lakh to retain Sindhu, while Awadhe Warriors spent Rs. 41.25 lakh to retain Saina.
Other big buys
Ahmedabad team were able to get Women's World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying on their side, for Rs. 52 lakh. Parupalli Kashyap went to Awadhe Warriors for Rs. 20 lakh, while Men's top seed Viktor Axelsen was retained by Bengaluru for Rs. 50 lakh. Hyderabad managed to retain Carolina Marin and Sai Praneeth at Rs. 50 lakh and Rs. 40 lakh respectively.
Some more top buys
Men's world No. 2 Son Wan Ho went to Mumbai Rockets at Rs. 50 lakh, Women's world No. 3 Sung Ji Hyun to Delhi Acers at Rs. 50 lakh and Men's world No. 10 Wang Tzu Wei to North Eastern Warriors at Rs. 52 lakh.