Posted on: July 23, 2013
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IBL: High drama encompassed the inaugural players’ auction as Jwala and Ashwini went unsold

By Antara Das

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IBL: High drama encompassed the inaugural players’ auction as Jwala and Ashwini went unsold

An incident of high drama occurred at the inaugural players’ auction for the Indian Badminton League (IBL) as the organizers were compelled to modify the rules since two of six icon players Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa went unsold during a closed auction on Sunday.

However, the duo was sold on Monday much less compared to their original base price of $50,000. Actually, Jwala was sold to Delhi Smashers for $31,000 while Ashwini was ‘given’ to Pune Pistons for $25,000 as she was the last one who was left among the icons not to be auctioned. Now, the IBL is supposed to compensate Ashwini with $25,000 and Jwala with $19,000.

The franchises were not interested in the successful doubles pair of Jwala and Ashwini during Sunday’s closed auction due to the absence of the women’s doubles match in the tournament. This prompted the IBL governing council to discontinue the bidding and postpone it for Monday, for an open auction. In addition, the governing council halved the base price for Jwala and Ashwini to $25,000 and promised to compensate them in case they were sold at less than their original base price of $50,000.

The chief executive of Sporty Solutionz and commercial partner of the IBL Ashish Chadha revealed that they had a closed bidding for all icons yesterday evening. It continued till late night. None of the franchisees were ready to select Jwala and Ashwini at that particular price of $50,000. Hence, all six franchisees along with IBL governing council decided that they need to perform an open auction by decreasing their base prices. Anyway, since they have signed a contract and they needed to protect their interest, they decided to make sure that they get the rest of the amount.

Chadha explained that no one was ready to buy the two icon players. Actually, by the moment women’s doubles was pulled out from the format, the two had already signed as Icons. Women’s doubles was canceled due to the lack of recognizable faces in India in the category. Additionally, their men’s singles players are doing very good at the moment. He added that by increasing the men’s singles, they will allow their singles players to do well here, which was agreed by the governing council too.

When interrogated if he thought the open bidding was harsh on both, especially Ashwini, Chadha replied that that is something they can’t help.

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