Saina, Sindhu, Carolina part of PBL shuttlers’ auction on Wednesday

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin, Indian stars Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu, along with Olympic bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen of Denmark will hog the limelight during the Players Auction for the second edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) here on Wednesday.

As many as three men’s singles players, including Axelsen, Jan ‘O’ Jorgensen of Denmark and Sun Won Ho of Korea, and four women’s singles players, including world No.1 Carolina, 2016 Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina and Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea, have been clubbed in the icon bracket.

As many as 16 Olympic medallists have confirmed their participation. The six-team competition will be held from January 1 to 14 in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Lucknow.

Each franchise will be splashing Rs. 1.93 crore to build a formidable team, with the individual price for the top players likely to go up to a phenomenal Rs 65 lakhs for the two-week league.

All available players will go under the hammer but teams have the option of retaining three players by invoking the Right to Match option and paying the final bid price. This should make the bidding process an exciting spectacle while at the same time testing the strategic acumen of each team.

Expressing his delight over the world class line-up for the auction, Badminton Association of India (BAI) president and PBL chairman Akhilesh Das Gupta said: “It is a matter of immense pride for us to be back with the new edition of the PBL. It was a huge success last year and we promise to not only replicate the same level of success but to also strive to make it even better.

“We are confident of offering a highly exciting League this year which will enthuse our lakhs of fans.”

Pullela Gopichand, the National coach and Chief Advisor of PBL, said: “Thanks to the spectacular performance of Indian Players at the Olympics, the game has added a large number of new viewers, so our effort will be to make the League as exciting and interesting as possible.

“We are bringing in certain innovations in the format of the League to make it even more spectator friendly.”

Sportzlive, the Gurugram based sports management company, has acquired the long-term licence of PBL and will be conducting the League under the aegis of BAI.

–IANS

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