India's HS Prannoy trumped big names, including Olympic medallists, to emerge as the most valuable player at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) auction on Monday, October 9 in Hyderabad. The world number 15, who was undefeated in the last edition of the cash-rich league, was bought by newbies Ahmedabad Smash Masters for Rs 65 lakh.
Awadhe Warriors, who reached the semi-final last year, used their "Right to Match" option to retain the services of in-form world number eight Kidambi Srikanth for Rs 56.1 lakh.
India's Olympic medallists PV Sindhu (Rs 48.75 lakh) and Saina Nehwal (Rs 41.2 lakh) were also retained by Chennai Smashers and Warriors, respectively.
Marin, Tai key attractions
Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin will once again spearhead Hyderabad Hunters' challenge as the Hyderabad-based franchise retained the Spaniard's services for Rs 50 lakh.
World number one women's singles star Tai Tzu Ying, who is expected to be the biggest attraction during the upcoming edition, to be played between December 22, 2017 and January 14, 2018, was bought for Rs 52 lakh by the Smash Masters, who also secured the services of India's Sourabh Verma.
China star Tian Houwei attracts big money
Meanwhile, newly-crowned world champion Viktor Axelsen will once again play for Bengaluru Blasters, who bought him on Monday for Rs 50 lakh. Among the other foreign stars, Tian Houwei of China was the biggest gainer, going to Delhi Acers for Rs 58 lakh.
Chris Adcock of England (Chennai Smashers; Rs 54 lakh), Tai Tzu Ying (Ahmedabad Smash Masters; Rs 52 lakh), Wang Tzu Wei of Taiwan (North East Warriors; Rs 52 lakh), Son Wan Ho of Korea (Mumbai Rockets; Rs 50 lakh), Lee Yong Dae of Korea (Mumbai Rockets; Rs 46.8 Lakh) were the biggest buys in an action-packed auction.
While Singapore Open champion Sai Praneeth (Rs 40 lakh, Hunters) and Sameer Verma (Rs 52 lakh, Mumbai Rockets) were among the biggest earners, India's top-ranked doubles shuttler Sikki Reddy managed only Rs 6.25 when she was retained by the Blasters.
Check out the complete squads list
Ahmedabad Smash Masters
- Men's singles: Sourabh Verma, Siril Verma, HS Prannoy
- Women's singles: Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe), Sri Krishna Priya
- Men's doubles: Law Cheuk HIm (Hkg), Lee Chun Hei Reginald (Hkg), Kidambi Nandagopal
- Women's doubles: Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den), Stefani Stoeva (Bul)
- Men's singles: Parupalli Kashyap, Kidambi Srikanth, Harshit Agarwal
- Women's singles: Saina Nehwal, Sai Utterjitha Rao
- Men's doubles: Hendra Setiawan (Idn), Or Chin Chung (Hkg), Tang Chung Man (Hkg)
- Women's doubles: Christina Pedersen (Den), Mahima Agarwal
- Men's singles: Viktor Axelsen (Den), Chong Wei Feng (Mas), Harsheel Dani
- Women's doubles: Kristy Gilmour (Sco), Rituparna Das
- Men's doubles: Manu Attri, Kim Sa Ran (Kor), Boe Mathias (Den)
- Women's doubles: K Maneesha, Sikki Reddy
- Men's singles: Brice Leverdez (Fra), Aditya Joshi, Daniel Farid, Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha)
- Women's singles: PV Sindhu, Tanvi Lad
- Men's doubles: Chris Adcock (GBR), Lee Yang (Kor), B Sumeeth Reddy
- Women's doubles: Gabrielle Adcock (GBR)
- Men's singles: Lee Hyun il (Kor), Sai Praneeth, Rahul Yadav
- Women's singles: Carolina Marin (Esp), Rasika Raje
- Men's doubles: Lu Ching Yao (Tpe), Satwiksairaj, Yoo Yeon Seong (Kor)
- Women's doubles: Pia Zebadiah (Idn), Anoushka Parikh
- Men's singles: Tian Houwei (Chn), Vincent Ki Wong (Hkg), Guru Sai Dutt
- Women's singles: Sung Ji Hyun (Kor), Shreyanshi Pardeshi
- Men's doubles: Pranaav Jerry Chopra, Ivan Sozonov (Rus), Vladimir Ivanov (Rus)
- Women's doubles: Ashwini Ponnappa, Arathi Sara Sunil
- Men's singles: Sameer Verma, Son Wan Ho (Kor)
- Women's singles: Beiwen Zhang (USA)
- Men's doubles: Lee Yong Dae (Kor), Tan Boon Heong (Kor), MR Arjun, Kona Tarun, Sanyam Shukla
- Women's doubles: Gabriela Stoeva (Bul), Kuhoo Garg
North Eastern Warriors
- Men's singles: Ajay Jayaram, Pratul Joshi, Tzu Wei Wang (Tpe)
- Women's singles: Michelle Li (Can), RUthvika Shivani
- Men's doubles: Chiraag Shetty, Shin Baek Cheol (Kor), Kim Gi Jung (Kor)
- Women's doubles: Prajakta Sawant, Sanyogita Ghorpade
How much did the teams spend at the auction