PBL Auction 2020: Sindhu, Sai Retained But Saina, Marin Pull Out
As the 2019 badminton season draws to an end, focus now shifts to the franchise-based Premier Badminton League (PBL) that’s scheduled to start on 19 January 2020 and will be played across four venues – Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bengaluru, and Chennai.
A total of 154 players, however, did go under the hammer at the auction held on Tuesday, 26 November, in New Delhi. World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying and India’s doubles poster boy Satwiksairaj Rankireddy turned out to be the most sought after players as they went to Bengaluru Raptors and Chennai Superstarz respectively while world champion PV Sindhu was retained by Hyderabad Hunters.
PBL Auction 2020: Players Retained
Among the seven franchises, six chose to retain a player each from the previous edition of the tournament.
1. Awadhe Warriors – Beiwen Zhang (Rs 39 Lakh)
2. Bengaluru Raptors – B Sai Praneeth (Rs 32 Lakh)
The Bengaluru Raptors will also be bolstered by the presence of World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth, who renewed his ties with the team for Rs 32 lakhs.
3. Chennai Superstarz – B Sumeeth Reddy (Rs 11 Lakh)
4. Hyderabad Hunters – PV Sindhu (Rs 77 Lakh)
PV Sindhu was retained by her team for the maximum possible sum of Rs 77 lakh, becoming the joint highest-paid player in the upcoming season.
5. Mumbai Rockets – Kim Gi Jung (Rs 45 Lakh)
6. Pune 7 Aces – Chirag Shetty (Rs 15 Lakh 50 Thousand)
The Tapsee Pannu co-owned team chose to retain Indian doubles speciallist Chirag Shetty for Rs 15.5 lakhs.
7. North eastern Warriors – None
PBL Auction 2020: Most Expensive Players
Following an auction that lasted over five hours on Tuesday, here’s a list of the most expensive players:
1. Tai Tzu Ying - Bengaluru Raptors (Rs 77 Lakh)
Taiwan’s women’s world number one will be spearheading the challenge of the defending champions and became the most expensive non-retained player at the auction as she was snapped by the Bengaluru franchise for Rs 77 lakhs.
2. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy - Chennai Superstarz (Rs 62 Lakh)
There was intense bidding for this Indian men's doubles specialist who won the Thailand Open in August alongside Chirag Shetty. The 19-year-old eventually went to the Chennai Superstarz for a whopping Rs 62 lakhs.
"I am really happy to be a part of the Chennai team. I have many friends in Chennai and I am looking forward to play there. Every time we have played here the crowd has been exceptional and to represent them this season will surely be something that I am looking forward to," said Rankireddy.
3. Ko Sung Hyun - Awadh Warriors (Rs 55 Lakh)
4. Lee Cheuk Yu - North East Warriors (Rs 50 Lakh)
5. Shin Baek Cheol - Awadh Warriors (Rs 45 Lakh)
5. Kim Gi Jung - Mumbai Rockets (Rs 45 Lakh)
2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap was the next costliest Indian shuttler to be sold to Mumbai Rockets for Rs 43 lakhs while Lakshya Sen, who won four titles in the past two months, will turn out for Chennai colours after the Season 2 champions purchased him for Rs 36 lakhs.
71 Players Bought From Pool of 154
Indian women’s doubles star Ashwini Ponnappa went unsold. National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand's daughter Gayatri Gopichand was picked up by Chennai Superstarz for Rs 2 lakh, while young Assamese shuttler Ashmita Chaliha was bought by her home team North Eastern Warriors for Rs 3 lakhs.
Among the seven teams vying for the PBL 5 trophy, title holders Bengaluru Raptors and Awadhe Warriors exhausted their entire purse of Rs 2 crores while Pune 7 Aces saved Rs 23.5 lakhs.
Pune and Chennai were the only teams to reach the maximum quota of 11 as 71 players were picked from a pool of 154 players at the end of the auction.
The format of the upcoming edition of the league remains the same with each tie consisting of five matches -- two men singles, one women singles, one men doubles and one mixed doubles.
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