India's top two women's doubles players Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa are hurt at the way they were treated at the Indian Badminton League (IBL) auction. Their base price was reduced by half (from $50,000 to $25,000) on the eve of the auction!
The only doubles team to win a bronze in the World Championships, Jwala and Ashwini were rightly named as the icons of the league. However, they were stunned to know that their base price was reduced by half (from $50,000 to $25,000) on the eve of the auction.
This decision was taken without taking them into confidence. What rubbed salt into their wounds was that they were bought for a much lesser amount (Jwala for $31,000 and Ashwini for $25,000) than what their earlier base price would have fetched them.
Surprisingly, Pradnya Gadre, who is yet to make a mark at the international level, was bought for about $46,000. IBL tried to control the damage by promising that it would compensate the two shuttlers by making their salaries $50,000 each but that has not placated the two.
A disappointed Ashwini told that it was not the money but the way they were treated that hurt them the most. "I am not worried about money. But I am terribly disappointed by the way it was handled. They kept us in the dark about all these developments. We brought honour to the country and we were looking forward to this new tournament. But I am sorry to say that the league has started on a wrong note. This is not the way to treat players. They are saying that they would give us more money. But sport is not about money. We take pride in excelling in the game and doing well for the country."
Jwala also said IBL could have avoided this controversy. "I had promoted IBL more than anyone else. But like always I am the one who is being ill treated. They could have avoided this. They could have informed us in advance. They did not tell us when they decided to do away with women's doubles in the format and they did not inform us about reducing our base price.
Despite being humiliated the duo said that they would play in the league. "We love the game and we will always strive to do well on court. I never thought of pulling out and I would never do that," Ashwini said.
Source: Times of India