PBL 3 auction: Sindhu, Saina and Srikanth retained, HS Prannoy costliest buy at Rs 62 lakh

Newly crowned world champion and top-ranked Viktor Axelsen was bought by his old team Bengaluru Blasters for Rs 50 lakh

India’s top shutters PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were retained by their respective franchises at the players auction of the Premier Badminton League at Hyderabad on Monday.

Defending champions Chennai Smashers retained Sindhu for Rs 48.75 lakh. The 22-year-old, who recently won a silver at the World Championships in Glasgow and clinched the Korea Open Super Series, had gone for Rs 39 lakh during the last auction. HS Prannoy commanded the highest price from the auctions after the big-spending Ahmedabad Smash Masters successfully submitted a bid of Rs 62 lakh.

Nehwal, who had returned with a bronze medal from Glasgow, was retained for Rs 41 lakh by Awadhe Warriors. K Srikanth, who clinched back-to-back titles at Indonesia and Australia this year, will also play for his old team Awadhe Warriors after they used the ‘Right To Match’ card. He will now be paid Rs 56 lakh. Doubles players – India’s Satwik Sairaj, Korea’s Lee Young Dae and Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov – were also retained by their old teams.

The first player to go under the hammer was world No 1 Tai Tzu Ying, one of the nine icon players snapped up by Ahmedabad Smash Masters for Rs 52 lakh. Rio Olympics gold medallist Carolina Marin was bought by Hyderabad Hunters, the team she played for last season, for a base price of Rs 50 lakh.

Newly crowned world champion and top-ranked Viktor Axelsen was bought by his old team Bengaluru Blasters for Rs 50 lakh, whereas world No 2 Son Wan Ho and No 5 Sung Ji-hyun went to Delhi Acers for Rs 50 lakh each.

Chinese Taipei’s Tzu Wei Wang, who is ranked 10th in the world in men’s singles, will be the icon player for North Eastern Warriors after he was bought by them for Rs 52 lakh.

Doubles specialists Prajakta Sawant and Chirag Shetty were bought by North Eastern Warriors for Rs 7 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively. India’s top doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa went to Delhi Acers for Rs 20 lakh, while Manu Attri was picked by Bengaluru Blasters for Rs 17 lakh.

India’s top mixed doubles player, Pranaav Jerry Chopra, was taken by Delhi Acers for Rs 18 lakh, while young doubles player Arathi Sara Sunil will make her PBL debut for Delhi Acers, who bought her for Rs 3 lakh.

According to the rules, old teams can retain one player and the franchise can use one ‘Right to Match’ card. New teams, though, can use one ‘Right to Match’ for players who are making their debut in PBL.

There will be 11 players in each franchise with a maximum of five foreign players and minimum of three women players. Each team needs to spend a minimum of Rs 2.12 crore in the auction.

Each retained player gets a 25% hike in his/her salary from last year, while players who are bought by using the ‘Right to Match’ card only get a 10% increase from the last year’s selling price. Here is a pick of some of the high profile signings made by the respective franchises:

Hyderabad Hunters

B Sai Praneeth (Retained)

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (Retained)

Carolina Marin: Rs 50 lakh

Yoo Yeon Seong: Rs 53 lakh

Mumbai Rockets

Lee Yong Dae (Retained)

Son Wan Ho: Rs 50 lakh

Gabriela Stoeva: Rs 20 lakh

Beiwen Zhang: Rs 33 lakh

Sameer Verma: Rs 52 lakh

Delhi Acers

Vladimir Ivanov (Retained)

Sung Ji Hyun: Rs 50 lakh

Pia Zebadiah: Rs 14 lakh

Ashwini Ponnappa: Rs 20 lakh

Pranaav Jerry Chopra: Rs 18 lakh

Arathi Sara Sunil: Rs 3 lakh

Tian Houwei: Rs 58 lakh

Chennai Smashers

PV Sindhu (Retained)

Tanongsak S (Retained)

Gabby Adcock: Rs 48 lakh

Chris Adcock: Rs 54 lakh

Brice Leverdez: Rs 18 lakh

Bengaluru Blasters

Sikki Reddy (Retained)

Viktor Axelsen: Rs 50 lakh

Mathias Boe: Rs 41 lakh

Manu Atri: Rs 17 lakh

Kim Sa Rang: Rs 49 lakh

Harsheel Dani: Rs 4 lakh

Awadhe Warriors

Saina Nehwal and Srikanth Kidambi (Retained)

Parupalli Kashyap: Rs 20 lakh

Ahmedabad Smash Masters

HS Prannoy: Rs 62 lakh

Tai Tzu Ying: Rs 52 lakh

Kamilla Rytter: Rs 35 lakh

Law Cheuk Him: Rs 18 lakh

Kidambi Nandagopal: Rs 1 lakh

North Eastern Warriors

Tzu Wei Wang: Rs 52 lakh

Chirag Shetty: Rs 5 lakh

Shin Baek Cheoul: Rs 55 lakh

Ruthvika Shivani Gadde: Rs 9 lakh

Ajay Jayaram: Rs 44 lakh

(With inputs from PTI)

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