Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Base Price for Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa Reduced by Half

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.

Will IBL Expand India's Sports?

The successful auction of players for the Indian Badminton League (IBL) represents a massive boost for the sport in India. India has produced some excellent shuttlers in the past - the likes of Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand ranked among the best in the world - and can currently boast of a crop of talented young players, including women's World No. 3 Saina Nehwal. However, Indian badminton lacks the resources and heft to dominate the sport like Chinese badminton has in recent years. And in a country obsessed with cricket, it is often treated in a step-motherly fashion by authorities and sponsors alike. 

It's in this context that the IBL could usher in a new era in the Indian badminton. Based on cricket's Indian Premier League (IPL) model, this new league will feature six private city-based franchises - Hyderabad Hotshots, Delhi Smashers, Pune Pistons, Banga Beats (Bangalore), Mumbai Masters and Lucknow Warriors - vying for the championship title and a purse of $1 million. This not only makes the IBL the richest badminton tournament in the world, but also represents a fantastic platform that brings together budding Indian talents and international stalwarts of the game.