India’s HS Prannoy, PBL, became the costliest player at the players auction of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) with a bid of 62 lakh rupees by team Ahmedabad Smash Masters. Chinese World No 11 Tian Houwei was bought by Delhi Acers for 58 lakh rupees while Awadhe Warriors had to shell out 56.1 lakh rupees to retain the services of Kidambi Srikanth. Korean doubles specialist Shin Beak Cheol, who was snapped by North Eastern Warriors for 55 lakh rupees was the 4th costliest player. Emerging star Sameer Sharma was bought by Mumbai Rockets for 52 lakh rupees and Ajay Jayaram went to North East Warriors 45 lakh rupees.
Among women’s singles shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were retained by their respective franchises. Each retained player gets a 25% hike in his/her salary from last year. Therefore, defending champions Chennai Smashers retained Olympic silver medallist Sindhu for 48.75 lakhs upees. The 22-year-old, who recently won a silver at the World Championship at Glasgow and clinched the Korea Super Series, had fetched 39 lakhs rupees during the last auction. Saina, who had returned with a bronze medal from Glasgow, was retained for 41.25 lakh rupees. She was retained by Awadhe Warriors for the base price of Rs. 33 lakhs last season.