Top stars Saina Nehwal and Lee Chong Wei were the costliest buys, fetching the maximum prize of 100,000$, while Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth were bought for a whopping $95,000 and $80,000 respectively at the rechristened Premier Badminton League
(PBL) players' auction on Monday.
World No. 2 Saina and former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei were bought by Awadh Warriors of Lucknow and Hyderabad Hunters in a last-minute pre-auction bidding last night even though their names were mentioned in the players list which went under the hammer.
Two-time bronze medallist at the World Championship and winner of Macau Open, Sindhu found herself in the middle of an aggressive bidding among Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
She was finally bought by Chennai Smashers for $95,000.
Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, who is recovering from an injury, went to Hyderabad for $35,000.
Doubles player B Sumeeth Reddy went at his base price of $25,000 to Bengaluru, while his men's doubles partner Manu Attri was bought by Mumbai Rockets.
2010 Commonwealth Games champion Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, however, went for their base price of $25,000 to their home cities -- Hyderabad and Bengaluru respectively.
HS Prannoy fetched $47,000 from Mumbai franchise.
Russia's Vladimir Ivanov was bought by Mumbai Rockets for $42,000, while England's Rajiv Ouseph and Indonesia Masters champion Tommy Sugiarto were taken by Delhi Acers.
Saina and Lee Chong Wei were not part of the auction as they were sold in a closed-door auction in which five franchises bid 100,000$ –- the maximum permissible amount -- for the Indian superstar.
The decision was reached through a lottery as part of the new PBL rules.
Badminton Association of India had organised Indian Badminton League in 2013 but thereafter for two years -- 2014 and 2015 -- the League did not take place.
The lucrative tournament, now known as PBL, will kick-start on January 2 in Mumbai with an extravagant opening ceremony and the grand finale will take place on January 17.