PBL Auction | Sindhu beats Saina in the price race while Carolina Marin most expensive player
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Chennai Smashers paid Rs 39 lakh to keep Indian ace P.V. Sindhu at the franchise while her Indian compatriot, Saina Nehwal's services were also retained by the Awadhe Warriors for just Rs 33 lakh. Carolina Marin stole the show when Hyderabad Hunters shelled out Rs 61.5 lakh for the Olympic champion.
P.V. Sindhu, who won silver at the 2016 Rio games, was expected to fetch more than the amount that Chennai paid for her but her inconsistent form seems to have detracted most franchises from paying out big bucks for the 21-year-Hyderabad lass.
"It's not about the money, it's about badminton," Sindhu said after the auction, unperplexed by the amount that the franchise paid for her.
Former World number 1, Saina Nehwal, has not played a competitive game since the Olympics and that played a part in her low value as she stayed with the Warriors for another season.
Current World No. 1 and Olympic gold winner Carolina Marin was purchased by the Hyderabad Hunters, who spent one-third of their permitted amount on Marin, for a sum of Rs 61.5 lakh in the PBL auction. The amount meant that the Spaniard became the most expensive buy of the auction held for players in the second edition of the tournament. South Korean shuttler Sung Ji Hyun, reached second on the list when Mumbai Rockets paid a handsome Rs 60 lakh for her signature.
Kidambi Srikanth became the most expensive Indian player at the event when the Warriors spent Rs 51 lakh for his services in the league that will start on new year's day 2017. Denmark's Jan Jorgensen was the most expensive buy in the men's auction, going for Rs 59 lakh to Delhi Aces.
Jorgensen's Danish compatriot Viktor Axelsen too exceeded expectations when he was picked up by the Bengaluru Blasters for a price of Rs 39 lakh along with Wan Ho Son who was made his way north to the capital for the same price.
As anticipated, two-time reigning world champion Carolina was the biggest draw in the morning, with Hyderabad Hunters and Delhi Acers engaged in a fierce bidding battle. Eventually, she was bagged by the Hunters who bid Rs 61.5 lakh,
Indian doubles shuttlers Ashwini Ponnappa(Rs 15 lakh) and Jwala Gutta(Rs 10 lakh) were drafted into Bengaluru and Delhi respectively.