Home-grown icons Saina Nehwal and P Kashyap, along with some international stars such as Lee Chong Wei, would be the top draws at the Indian Badminton League's players' auction to be held in New Delhi on Monday.
Six players have been earmarked icon players with world number one Chong Wei the only international shuttler among them in the list that includes Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa, PV Sindhu and Kashyap. Each of these players will attract a base price of $50,000.
Other notable shuttlers in the list of top 30 available for the $1 million auction include Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana and Hu Yun of Hong Kong who also have a base price of $50,000.
Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia, Kenichi Tago of Japan and Vietnam's Tien Minh Nguyen, who will be available at a base price of $25,000, are the other current players who are in the top-10 in men's world rankings.
The list also includes former world and Olympic champion Taufiq Hidayat for a base price of $15,000. Hidayat recently retired from the international circuit.
The base price of RMV Gurusaidutt has been kept at $25,000 while for Ajay Jayaram's bidding will start at the price of $30,000.
In the women's category, German star Juliane Schenk and Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon will have a base price of $50000. Another Thai player Porntip Buranaprasertsuk ($20,000), Denmark's Tine Baun ($30,000), Lindaweni Fanetri ($15,000) of Indonesia would be the other attractions in the auction that will be conducted by renowned London-based auctioneer Bob Hayton.
Gutta and Ponnappa will be participating in the doubles category of the event. The franchises will also be bidding for lesser known Indian stars though they would be given the lost of these players during the auction.
Though China will hold their national championships during IBL season, two shuttlers -- Bao Chunlai in singles and Zheng Bo in doubles -- will be available at the auction.
"The auction signals the start of the first season of what we hope will mark a phenomenal beginning for Indian badminton. The 2013 edition of the IBL will feature six teams and it will be interesting to see how the Franchises go about bolstering their respective line-ups prior to the IBL," IBL Chairman Akhilesh Das Gupta said.
The opening match of the IBL will take place on August 14 in New Delhi.
Photograph: Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters