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PBL auction: Saina Nehwal goes to Awadh, Chong Wei to Hyderabad

India’s Saina Nehwal and Malaysian veteran Lee Chong Wei were bagged by Awadh Warriors and Hyderabad Hotshots, respectively, for $1,00,000 each in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) players’ auction here on Monday.

The third most expensive player was double World championship bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu who was snapped up by Chennai Smashers for $95,000 -- $45,000 more than the talented Indian’s base price. Delhi Acers and Mumbai Rockets fought till the end before Chennai took the 20-year-old.

World No.9 male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth also received a strong bidding and was sold for $80,000 to Bengaluru Top Guns. His compatriot, No.14 Parupalli Kashyap had to be content with a price of $35,000. The 2014 Commonwealth Games champion went to Hyderbad. While Srikanth had a base price of $50,000, Kashyap’s base price was $25,000.

With $1,00,000 being the maximum bid for a player, the bidding for the two established players saw several franchises offering the highest purse for them. In the end, according to the PBL rules, a lottery was held and it was decided that Olympic bronze medal winner Saina will play for the Lucknow-based side while two-time Olympic silver medallist Chong Wei will turn out for Hyderabad.

Saina, earlier, played for Hyderabad in the now disbanded Indian Badminton League (IBL). Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Akhilesh Das Gupta revealed that the auction for Olympic bronze medallist Saina and Chong Wei happened on Sunday and as many as five franchises wanted to buy the 25-year-old Indian. Das Gupta said all the franchises were consulted on the decision.

Saina will play the opening match of the tournament in Mumbai, the BAI president confirmed. 
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