Posted on: July 31, 2013

BAI and IBL organizers have prohibited players from talking to the media

By Antara Das

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BAI and IBL organizers have prohibited players from talking to the media

Fired by stringent criticism from some shuttlers regarding the way player auctions for the forthcoming Indian Badminton League were conducted recently, the Badminton Association of India and the league's organizers have prohibited players from talking to the media.

A top source on Wednesday disclosed that it has been decided that only BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta and CEO of the league's commercial partner Sporty Solutionz Ashish Chada will issue statements. In addition, clauses have been inserted into the contracts for officials and players.

It can be remembered that hullabaloo erupted following Jwala Gutta and her former doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa who are bronze medalists in the 2011 World Championship and title winners in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, lashed out at the IBL following their base price was cut to half just before the commencement of the auction.

Notably, Jwala and Ponnappa are two of the six icon players who suffered the most. Actually, just hours before the auction, the IBL decided to slash their base price from US$ 50,000 (Rs 29,86,264) to US$ 25,000 (14,93,125) following consultation with the six franchises. Ultimately, Jwala entered Krrish Delhi Smashers for US$ 31,000 (Rs 18,51,520), while Pune Pistons ushered Ashwini for US$ 25,000 in the auction.

A miffed Jwala had insisted just after the action that when one signs a contract stating that they are an icon player, who wouldn't be sad or feel cheated or let down. She has promoted IBL like no other player. She has been to many cities to promote it. She thought icon players will be treated equally.

After a couple of days, she mentioned that she was still happy to be a part of IBL and will allow her racquet speak for her on the badminton court.

Jwala stressed that the minimum thing they expected was to be informed. Anyway, she is very happy to be part of IBL. She is very much looking forward to it. In fact, badminton court is her territory and that is where she will do most of her talking. She will let her racquet speak for herself.

In addition, men's doubles specialists Rupesh Kumar as well as Sanave Thomas also cried foul for being treated as "low profile players" and got their base prices reduced at the auction without being informed.

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