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IBL auction : Hyderabad bags Saina as Lee Chong Wei goes to Mumbai

New Delhi, July 23 (): Hyderabad Hotshots bought the Indian star, Saina Nehwal for $120,000 while world number one Lee Chong Wei was bagged by Mumbai Masters for $135,000 in the inaugural Indian Badminton League’s players auction here on Monday.

In the much-awaited IBL auction, over 150 players went under the hammer for 66 slots to fill six teams. Each team will have six Indians, four foreigners and one Indian junior player. The franchise will have a spending limit of Rs. 1.5 crore each to buy a team.

Saina was bought by Hyderabad Hotshots for approximately Rs 71,27,796 after beating the bids of Lucknow Warriors and Pune Pistons. Saina is preparing both for the World Championships and the IBL.

Previously Saina had said that she was so excited about the auctions. She said if asked for a choice, she would prefer Hyderabad and her sponsors, Sahara. She also said she would anyhow be happy being a part of either team. She finally said her choice would be 100% for Hyderabad and 99% for Lucknow.

World number one player Lee Chong Wei proved to be the costliest when he was bagged by Mumbai Masters for approximately Rs 8,019,032. The Mumbai franchise beat the bids of Banga Beats and Krrish Delhi Smashers.

Parupalli Kashyap, bronze-medallist of Commonwealth Games, was bought by Banga Beats for USD 75,000 (Rs 4,455,622 approx), while budding star P V Sindhu was selected by Lucknow Warriors for USD 80,000 (Rs 4,752,664 approx).

The auction was attended by two-time Grand Slam champion Sania Mirza, Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang and Tollywood actor Nagarjuna. They were for the more than six-hour long auction, which was conducted by London-based auctioneer Bob Hayton. All the six franchises were satisfied with their buys.

The league will be held across six cities — Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore, with a prize money of $1 million. The League has been scheduled from August 14-31.