Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], October 8: The Players' Auction for the third edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) promises to be a ritzy affair, with leading players from around the world and the country going under the hammer along with 100 others here on Monday.
Men's World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen (Denmark), Women's World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying (Taiwan), Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin (Spain) and India's very own World No. 2 PV Sindhu are expected to be the top draws.
They feature in every team's wish-list and all out bidding war is on the cards, with each franchise allowed to spend Rs 2.12 crore on their team.
The PBL, which is held under the aegis of the Badminton Association of India and has already acquired the tag of being the richest badminton league and attracts all the top players, will see the teams battling for a total prize money of INR 6 crore.
As many as 10 Olympic medalists (including 3 multiple medal winners) and eight medalists from the recently concluded BWF World Championships have confirmed their presence which will make it one of the finest fields assembled when the League gets under way in December.
The auction assumes even more significance as India's men players, led by Kidambi Srikanth, have also been on a roll in recent times. It is expected to enhance the quality of the championship, while also exciting the Indian fans even more.
Interestingly, China will also be well represented this time, with their World No. 11 Men's singles player Tian Houwei putting in his hat in the ring.
PBL 3 itself goes to the next level as it becomes a strong 8-team league, with the addition of two more franchises. It will begin on December 22 and conclude on January 14 and will enthrall fans at international standard venues in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Chennai and Guwahati.
Each team can splurge a maximum of INR 72 lakh on one player out of their total purse of INR 2.12 crore.
Reigning world champion Viktor Axelsen, Son Wan Ho of Korea and Kidambi Srikanth of India among men and Tai Tzu, Carolina Marin, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Sung Ji Hyun of Korea and Tzu Wei Wang of Taiwan have been granted Icon status. Players from as many as 11 countries, including China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Germany and Hong Kong will be up for grabs in the mega auction.
All the available players will go through the auction process, with the six existing teams allowed to invoke their 'Right to Match' (RTM) option. This will not only make the bidding process more intriguing but will also test the strategic acumen of each team. (ANI)