The players’ auction for the second edition of the Premier Badminton League will be held here on Wednesday.
Top shuttlers led by Spanish women’s world No 1 and Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin, Rio bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen (world No 4 from Denmark), and Indian stars Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu have confirmed participation for the Rs 6 crore tournament to be played from January 1-14.
The six-team league will be played in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Lucknow and Delhi. It will start in Hyderabad and the final will be played in the Capital.
Each franchise will have Rs 1.93 crore to build a team, with the individual price for the top players likely to go up to Rs 65 lakh. Seven shuttlers including Axelsen, Sun Wan-ho (world No 5, Korea), Jan O Jorgensen (No 6, Denmark), Marin, Sung Ji- hyun (women’s No 8, Korea) and of course, Saina and Sindhu, have been clubbed in the icon bracket.
Over 100 players, including 16 Olympic medallists, will go under the hammer but teams have the option of retaining three players, invoking the ‘right to match’ option and paying the final bid price.
Missing from this edition will be Malaysian world No 1 Lee Chong Wei and Thailand’s former women’s world champion, Ratchanok Intanon. Top shutters from China and Japan (world No 4 Li Xuerui and No 3 Nozomi Okuhara) will also give the PBL a miss because the dates of the Chinese league and the Japan nationals will clash.