M A I N   N E W S

Saina snapped up for Rs 72 lakh in IBL auction
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 22
Hitherto unimaginable riches came to the humble sport of badminton today at the Indian Badminton League (IBL) player auction, in which world No. 2 Saina Nehwal was snapped up for Rs 72 lakh ($120,000) by the Hyderabad franchise.

But Saina, one of the IBL’s six ‘icon’ players, is not the most expensive. Men’s world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia was bought by Mumbai for $135,000.

Each of the six IBL teams — representing Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Lucknow, Pune and Mumbai — had a salary cap of around $275,000 to buy 11 players each, making it a total of 66 players in the league. Understandably, the top Indian players generated a lot of interest in the bidding. Apart from Lee Chong, six Indians were designated icon players, with a base price of $50,000 each. Rising star PV Sindhu was picked up for $80,000 by Lucknow Warriors while Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Parupally Kashyap was bought by Bangalore for $75,000. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa, also icon players, had their base price reduced to $25,000 before the auction as they would not play in the singles event. Jwala got only $31,000 from Delhi while Ashwini was picked up by Pune for $25,000. However, the two would be paid their original base price of $50,000.

There was keen bidding for Saina, and Hyderabad and Lucknow seemed the keenest to acquire her, though eventually Hyderabad won the bid. P16

League in numbers

* 6 franchises will compete in the league — Delhi Smashers, Lucknow Warriors, Pune Pistons, Mumbai Masters, Banga Beats and Hyderabad Hotshots

* 11 players in each team. Six of these will be from India, four foreign players and one Indian junior player

* $1million prize money. Each team will have a purse of `1.5 crore to buy the players

* 6 venues — Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore

When August 14 to 31




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |