Bangalore, July 22: First it was male cricketers who went under the hammer. And now, it is female badminton players who are meeting the same fate. Are the human rights and women activists worried?
Not unlikely. For how many have seen women sportsperson being sold off for $1,20,000 for a national badminton league? Yes, this is the amount for which ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was bought by Hyderabad Hostshots for the inaugural Indian Badminton League on Monday. Nehwal, whose base price was fixed at $50,000, is among the six icon players to be auctioned in the IBL that starts on August 14.
Jwala Gutta, Aswini Ponappa and P Sindhu also went to the auctions. But while Gutta had a poor auction, Ponappa remained unsold. Sindhu was auctioned for $80,000. Experts feel the absence of women's doubles event at the meet didn't fetch Gutta-Ponappa much at the auctioning.
World number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia was sold to Mumbai Masters for $1,35,000 while Parupalli Kashyap was bought by Banga Beats for $75,000.
Each franchise can have a maximum of six Indian shuttlers, four foreigners and one India juniors player.
The teams which will fight for the trophy are Banga Beats, Pune Vijetas, Mumbai Masters, Delhi Rajdhani Smashers, Lucknow Warriors and Hyderabad Hotshots.
That badminton has also followed the footsteps of the Indian Premier League is a positive sign but let's hope there doesn't arise a chorus against 'selling off' women in the sports arena.