Saina Nehwal's wish to be in her home team came true as Hyderabad Hotshots bought the Indian star for USD 120,000 but world number one Lee Chong Wei proved to be the costliest, going to Mumbai Masters for USD 135,000 in the inaugural Indian Badminton League's players auction on Monday.
Saina, one among the six icon players whose base price was set at USD 50,000 (Rs 29,70,482), had stated that she would prefer to be either in Hyderabad or Lucknow with a slight tilt towards her hometown.
Her wish was fulfilled with Hyderabad picking her up after making a bid of USD 120,000 (Rs 71,27,796 approx).
But it was Malaysian icon Lee Chong Wei, who got the franchises really excited, triggering a bidding war between Mumbai Masters and the Delhi Smashers.
Eventually, Mumbai, which has cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar among its consortium of owners, came out trumps to bag the biggest international name in fray at the auction for Rs 8,019,032 approximately.
Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Parupalli Kashyap, also an icon player, was picked up by Banga Beats for USD 75,000 (Rs 4,455,622 approx).
Rising star P V Sindhu was the big buy netted by Lucknow Warriors for USD 80,000 (Rs 4,752,664 approx), while feisty doubles star Jwala Gutta went to Delhi Smashers at USD 31,000(Rs 1,841,699). Jwala's base price was USD 25,000 (Rs1,485,241).
In another interesting bidding war between Delhi and Pune Piston, little-known Vietnamese Tinh Minh Nyugen was sold to the latter at USD 44,000 (Rs 2,614,024), way above his base price of USD 25,000.
The franchises owners - PVP Group (Hyderabad), BOP Group (Bangalore), Krrish Group (Delhi), Sahara (Lucknow), Burman family (Pune) and consortium of cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar, Telugu film star Akkineni Nagarjuna and former cricketer V Chamundeshwarnath (Mumbai) -- have a cap of approximately USD 275,000 to fill the slot of 66 players.
The six franchises will buy a total of 11 players each. Six of these will be India, four foreign players and one Indian junior player.