Doubles specialists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa were left disappointed with the Indian Badminton League’s decision to slash their base price at the last moment in the Player’s auction and termed it as “disrespectful” and “absurd”.
Commonwealth Games women’s doubles champions Jwala and Ashwini were two of the six icon players, who went under the hammer on Monday but just hours ahead of the player’s auction, the IBL decided to reduce their base price from $ 50,000 (Rs. 29,86,264) to $ 25,000 (14,93,125) after consultation with the six franchises.
In the auction, Jwala went to Krrish Delhi Smashers at $ 31,000 (Rs. 18,51,520), while Pune Pistons bagged Ashwini for the base price of $ 25,000.
“I am very disappointed. Me and Ashwini signed the contract as icon players and we should have been given a better deal. We were not even informed about the reduction of base price. In fact, the news that women’s doubles was replaced by other men’s singles, I came to know late. What can I say, it is disrespectful and I am deeply hurt and upset by IBL,” Jwala said.
Ashwini, who won the World Championship bronze along with Jwala in London in 2011, was equally hurt at this last minute decision by the IBL.
“I didn’t get a call regarding this. No one explained things to me. I am really hurt and deeply upset. Until the auction got over I didn’t even know about it,” Ashwini said.
“I heard that since there is no women’s doubles competition, so our price was slashed but then how come other women’s doubles players got way more than me. That is more absurd. They make you icon players and then they don’t treat you with respect,” Ashwini said.
Interestingly, Ashwini’s current women’s doubles and mixed doubles partners Pradanya Gadre and Tarun Kona were bought by $ 46,000 and $ 28,000 after starting at a base price of $ 10,000 and $ 15,000.