Updated: December 8, 2015 5:51:03 pm
The newly annointed Premier Badminton League continues from its earlier avatar — though Pune’s made way for Chennai. The six teams are Mumbai Rockets, Delhi Acers, Hyderabad Hunters, Chennai Smashers, Bengaluru Top Guns, Awadhe Warriors, with the last mentioned retaining its earlier ownership.
Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei and Indian superstar Saina Nehwal fetched the highest price — $1,00,000 in the Premier Badminton League auction. The figures were lesser than the inaugural season (Nehwal got $120,000 last time, and Chong Wei $135,000).
Women’s singles World Champion Carolina Marin, who played for Bangalore ($10,000) last time around, is the most notable absentee
Two Chinese — Han Li (Mumbai Rockets, $24,000) and Suo Di (Bengaluru Top Guns, $15,000) are the dark horses of the PBL and can cause a few upsets in the lone women’s singles ties. There’s also the retired doubles champ — London Olympics gold medallist and four-time World Champion Cai Yun, aged 35, picked by Awadhe.
India’s top-ranked singles shuttler Kidambi Srikanth is the biggest gainer since the last edition, with his salary almost doubling to $80,000.
Men’s singles players HS Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram, who hit the headlines this year with top performances on the circuit, have also attracted a good hike — Prannoy’s up to $47000 (from 16000)and Ajay to $35,000 (from 25,000). P Kashyap, recovering from a nasty injury is down from $75,000 to 35,000.
India’s women’s doubles players Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa both fetched $30,000, as did Sikki Reddy.
PV Sindhu’s stock’s on the rise (she’s up to $95000 from 80000 last time), picked by the new franchise Chennai Smashers
Awadhe Warriors were the biggest spenders ($246,000), while Chennai ($210,000) were the most measured in their spending
Ruthvika Gadde (Mumbai) and K Maneesha (Awadhe), the versatile doubles shuttler will be the new kids to watch out for
Delhi and Hyderabad have relatively weaker names in the spunky PC Thulasi and little known Supanida Katethong
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