IBL auction set to unfold today

Big demand for Indian shuttlers

IBL auction set  to unfold today

Badminton in India is up for its first slice of glamour and moolah when the much awaited $1 million Indian Badminton League auctions takes place here on Monday.

After cricket, hockey and boxing, it is now the turn of badminton to take up the club format which will see over 150 players go under the hammer. The auctions, though, has no current Chinese and Korean players. The two Chinese players added in the list were Zheng Bo and Bao Chunlai, both of whom are now retired but carrying the base price of $40,000. The event will be conducted by London-based auctioneer Bob Hayton.

The organizers could be satisfied with their effort of roping in world’s eight top-ten men’s singles players and six best women’s singles players. In the men’s doubles and mixed doubles  they will have the four top combinations. Indonesia (14) will be fielding the maximum players followed by Thailand (12) and Malaysia (11) in the auction that would be bidded among six franchises -- Hyderabad HotShots, Lucknow Warriors, Banga Beats (Bangalore), Mumbai Masters, Delhi Smashers and Pune Pistons -- for August 14-31event. Each team will comprise six Indians, four foreigners and one mandatory under-19 player from their local area.

The tie will have five matches -- two men's singles, one  women's singles, one men's doubles, and one mixed doubles. The focus understandably will be on singles with the owners speaking of coming up with several strategies for the auction. Apart from them, twelve players -- including six icon players -- will go under the bracket of $50,000 base price. The only non-Indian to get the status of icon player is World No 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. The five others are, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa. These icon players will be sold in a closed bidding followed by the open auction. Naturally, Saina and Chong Wei are going to be the top draw for the franchises who are allowed to carry the maximum purse of Rs 1.5 crore.

Other international attractions include Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand), who won the India Open Super Series this year, All England champion Tine Baun (Denmark), Tommy Sugiarto (Indonesia), Juliane Schenk (Germany), Yun Hu (Hong Kong), Jan Jorgensen (Denmark), Kenichi Tago (Japan).

Former World and Olympic champion Taufiq Hidayat, who recently retired, will be available at a comparatively cheaper base price of $15,000.

There will be around 70 Indian players with a base prize beginning from $15,000. Ajay Jayaram ($30,000) and RMV Gurusaidutt ($25,000) are the only Indians to have got the base prices equivalent to the international stars. IBL also announced a new scoring system.

Unlike international rules, where the victor needs a two-point gap to win the match, in IBL the player who first reaches 21 points in the first two games will win the match, irrespective if the opponent is on 20 points.

But if the match goes into the third and deciding game, it will be an 11-point game instead of 21. Here too, the winner will not need a two-point gap to triumph. There will be two breaks (1 minute) in each of the first two games and one break (1 minute) in the decider, apart from the two-minute break between games. In the league stages, all the five matches in a tie will be played even if rendered dead.

Each team will get one point for winning a match and a bonus point for winning the tie.

Comments (+)