World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying and world champion PV Sindhu are all set to go under the hammer with the Players Auction for the fifth edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) to be held on Tuesday.
154 players will be part of the auction that will also see Sai Praneeth, who won India’s first men’s singles World Championships medal in 36 years, featuring along with World No. 8 men’s doubles pair of of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.
The in-form Lakshya Sen, who won four titles in the past two months, will also be a big attraction for the teams.
The PBL, organised under the aegis of Badminton Association of India (BAI) will see a total of 74 shuttlers from India participating including Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy alongside the in-form Sourabh Verma and Parupalli Kashyap.
Rising stars Gayatri Gopichand, Ashmita Chaliha and Rituparna Panda will also be making their PBL debut this season among the promising talent to watch out for in this pan-India badminton extravaganza to be held from January 20, 2020 to February 9, 2020.
Indonesia’s men’s doubles world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, who took Bengaluru Raptors to the title last season, will be spearheading the 80 foreign players this season. Doubles superstar Lee Yong Dae will be returning as well along with singles exponents, Beiwen Zhang and Michelle Li.
The fifth season will also see first-timers in men’s singles World No. 69 Kazumasa Sakai from Japan and Huang Jia Hong from China, with the latter being accompanied by his compatriot PBL regular Tian Houwei.
“It is not only the big names but many underdogs have sprung up in each season who have shown exceptional performances to guide their team to victory. This prompted us to introduce trading policy after discussing with the team owners,” said Atul Pande, Managing Director of Sportzlive.
“A minimum of two transactions will be allowed per team in trading that will be effective 15 days after the end of the auction and will get over 10 days before the league kicks off,” he further added.
While each franchise will have a purse of INR 2 crore with not exceeding INR 77 lakh for each player, the teams will comprise a maximum of six foreign players and a minimum of three female shuttlers in a squad of not more than 11. The format of the upcoming edition of the league remains the same with each tie consisting of five matches – two men singles, one women singles, one men doubles and one mixed doubles.
The 21-day event will witness seven teams- Awadhe Warriors (Lucknow), Bengaluru Raptors (Bengaluru), Mumbai Rockets (Mumbai), Hyderabad Hunters (Hyderabad), Chennai Superstarz (Chennai), North Eastern Warriors (North East) and Pune 7 Aces (Pune) slug it out for a prize purse of INR 6 crore as the Season 5 matches will be played in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Lucknow.
PBL 5 at a glance
Total number of Teams: 7
Total number of Venues: 4 (Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Chennai)
Total number of players: 154
Total number of Indians: 74
Total number of foreigners: 80
Auction purse for each Team: INR 2 crore
Player cap: INR 77 lakhs
Minimum Players per Team: 9
Maximum Players per Team: 11
Maximum Number of Foreign Players per Team: 6
Minimum Number of female shuttlers per Team: 3
Total Prize Money: INR 6 crores