High base price proved a deterrent

Having crossed the first stage of the inaugural Indian Badminton League — the players’ auction — the organisers can heave a sigh of relief, at least for now. Franchise owners praised the efforts of Sporty Solutionz, the commercial partner of the event, and the Badminton Association of India, but pointed out that “higher base price tag of couple of international players” left them with no option than to pick up lesser known names.

Top Thai shuttlers including world no. 4 Ratchanok Intanon and Boonsak Ponsana, Indonesian top-10 names like Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Tommy Sugiarto besides world no. 5 Japanese Kenichi Tago and Danish ninth ranked Jan O Jorgensen remained unsold.
Already devoid of Chinese names in their list, the missing out of these names was also
a worry for the organisers.
Ashish Chadha, CEO Sporty Solutionz, said: “I am disappointed with the way the auction went. Some top names remained unsold. We tried so hard to bring thses players on board but no teams came up to pick them.
“We have signed contracts with these players much earlier, so can’t quote them a lower price now.
“But I can understand the franchises point of view. They also can’t help as these players are not available for the entire event,” Chadha said, adding that Ratchanok was available for eight days, and Sony and Tommy for nine days each.
Bengaluru franchise Banga Beats coach and former Olympian U. Vimal Kumar was satisfied with his team composition. “We tried hard to get Pradnya but her price went too high. But otherwise we have a balanced side, with (Parupalli) Kashyap and (Hu) Yun as strong men’s singles contenders,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nikhil Kanitkar, former India no. 1 and Pune Pistone coach said, “After we got Ashwini (Ponnappa) we wanted a good partner for her, so we picked Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen, and then once we had Sanave Thomas, we had to grab Rupesh Kumar.”
Confusion over players’ base price
With the last minute decision of the organisers to change the base price of Jwala and Ashwini, confusion surrounded the auction. The two were tagged at a base price of $50000, but it was decreased to $25000.
“It was decided only last night. In a close bidding, none wanted to pay big for doubles players, as there will be no women’s doubles matches,” explained Chadha.

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