New Delhi: The $1 million Indian Badminton League (IBL) scheduled Aug 14-31 will hold its players` auction here on July 19.
More than 150 players are expected to go under the hammer at the auction for 66 slots for the six teams: Hyderabad HotShots (Hyderabad), Karnataka Kings (Bangalore), Lucknow Warriors (Lucknow), Mumbai Masters (Mumbai), Pune Vijetas (Pune) and Rajdhani Smashers (Delhi). Each franchise can feature 11 players, with a maximum of four foreign shuttlers and one Under-19 player from their catchment area.
The auction will be conducted by London-based auctioneer Bob Hayton, known for his association with Bid and Hammer Fine Art Auctioneers.
There will be six icon players starting with a base price of $50,000, for whom franchisees will bid from draw of lots. Indian stars Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa, Parupalli Kashyap and P.V. Sindhu will have icon status while a leading foreign star will be the sixth icon player.
Each franchisee will be allotted a maximum spend of Rs.1.5 crore to bid for players in the auction with the icon player receiving 10 percent more than the highest-bid player in the team. The top national players and their international counterparts from 17 countries have confirmed their participation. The final date for entering the players’ auction is July 5.
Speaking on the occasion, Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Akhilesh Das Gupta said, “With the excellent talent possessed by each player we look forward to a vigorous and healthy competitive bidding event which will further add to the much-awaited league.”
The IBL kicks off from Aug 14 when the Hyderabad Hotshots take on Karnataka Kings. Each franchise will host a two-day leg and the league will have a total of 90 matches. The top four franchisees will clash in the semi-finals and the winners will meet in the final on Aug 31 in Mumbai.