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The Premier Badminton League 2017 auction threw quite a few surprises on Wednesday. 
The Olympic silver medallist and current toast of the country, PV Sindhu, was bought for an unexpectedly low price of Rs 39 lakh by Chennai Smashers, while Saina Nehwal went unsold in the first round before being retained by Awadhe Warriors for the base price of Rs 33 lakh.
The auction, which could only be followed live on Facebook, saw women’s singles Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin bag the top price of Rs 61.5 lakh from Hyderabad Hunters, who were  engaged in fierce bidding war with Delhi Acers.Hunters spent one-third of their maximum permitted kitty on just one player.
Saina, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, had bagged the highest prize (Rs 66.71 lakh) in the previous edition. However, this year none of the six franchises showed any inclination in buying the former World No 1, who featured in only limited matches last year because of a foot injury. In fact, she wasn’t among the 12 iconic players picked.
“Every team has their own strategy, keeping in mind the team balance, otherwise there was no specific reason for not picking Saina,” said Upinder Zutshi, CEO & MD, ICS, of defending champions Delhi Acers.But what stumped all and sundry was Sindhu fetching mere six lakh more from her base price. 
The owners admitted the price was undeserving to her status but reasoned it to her name appearing late in the draw of lots, 13 to be precise. By that time, most of the franchises had little left in their coffers.  Only Hyderabad decided to bid for her and were comfortably outbidded by the Smashers, who were waiting to get Sindhu back using the Right to Match option. 
India’s K Srikanth was bought for Rs 51 lakh by the Awadhe Warriors. South Korean woman shuttler Sung Ji Hyun was the second costliest buy and went to Mumbai Rockets for Rs 60 lakh, while World No 6 Jan O'Jorgensen of Denmark attracted Rs 59 lakh from Acers. Olympic bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen (Denmark) was bought for a price of Rs 39 lakh by Bengaluru Blasters.
As many as 154 players went under the hammer. Fifty of them were acquired by the six teams from their purse of Rs 1.93 crore each. Each team could acquire a maximum of ten players, including six foreigners.

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