As it turns out, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa were not the only ones "betrayed" in the Indian Badminton League auction recently.
On Monday, news had emerged that the IBL organisers had halved the base price of Icon players Gutta and Ponnappa without informing the players. Now, the shock becomes even greater.
Other Indian players like Sanave Thomas, Ajay Jayaram, who has a current world ranking of 24, and Anup Sridhar were also shocked when they realised that their base price was also reduced without their knowledge.
"We were shocked when we came to know that we were sold for $5000. When we signed the consent form, we had put an amount of $15000 according to the norms set by them. Had they told us that it was $5000, we would have revisited our decision to be part of the auction," Sanave Thomas, who represented India at the last CWG games and also took part in the Asian Games, told Firstpost.
And it wasn't just Sanave, his partner Rupesh Kumar was also sold to Pune for $5,000. Jayaram signed on consent form with his base price at US $30,000 (according to many agency copies) but he was sold for US $25,000. The problem, once again, is that they weren't informed of the change.
Sanave also mentioned that Anup Sridhar also signed on a consent form with his base price at $15,000 but he was strangely sold for just $6,000.
The IBL decided that the 'little' concerns can just be brushed aside. Why? Because the 'poor' badminton players should be happy to earn the money -- any money.
The IBL had told the players that for the base price, their BWF rankings will be taken into consideration. Doubles players will be considered as individuals, not as a team. They had also said: "Base price will be the starting point for the player at the players auction."
So how is it that players went for less than their base price? It's a question that the IBL would do well to answer before it's reputation starts going south. Indeed, how many more players have been 'betrayed'?
Given below are the points that the IBL organisers were taking into consideration when deciding the base price. They had sent all these points to the players before getting them to sign on the consent form.
- Indian singles players in top 40 BWF rankings get a base price equivalent to US$ 20,000
- Indian doubles players in top 25 BWF rankings will get base price equivalent to US$ 20,000
- Indian senior internationals (World Championship, Thomas Cup, Uber Cup, Sudirman Cup, CWG, Asian Games) get equivalent to US$ 15,000
- Indian singles players with top 10 national rankings get equivalent to US$ 10,000
- Indian doubles players with top 10 national rankings get equivalent to US$ 7,500
- Indian singles players with 11-25 national rankings get equivalent to US$ 5,000
- Indian doubles players with 11-25 national rankings get equivalent to US$ 3,000
- Other prominent Indian players will have a base price equivalent to US$ 2,000
(The IBL players kit is reproduced below, you can have a look at it yourself)