WHEN ONE is assessing a sport closely or a performance by an athlete it always comes down to the numbers or stats and that is taken as the final word.
Now numbers are given the most significance when it comes to an auction. Three days ago (on 9th October), the Premier Badminton League conducted its auction for the third season of the badminton extravaganza.
Post the auction, there were reactions including many from the players, expressing disappointment regarding the numbers. Here the numbers mean the amount for which the players were bought for by the respective teams.
There are eight teams playing in PBL this year, Mumbai Rockets, Delhi Acers, Chennai Smashers, Hyderabad Hunters, Ahmedabad Smash Masters, NorthEastern Warriors, Awadhe Warriors and Bengaluru Blasters.
Already existing teams had a chance to retain one of their players before going into the process of bidding and the following were retained
The retained players had an increase of 20-25% in their pay and the following is what they will be paid this year: PV Sindhu- 48lakhs (Chennai); Saina Nehwal- 41lakhs (Awadhe); Sikki Reddy- 6lakhs (Bengaluru); Satwik- 3lakhs (Hyderabad); Lee Yong Dae- 46lakhs (Mumbai); Valdimir Ivanov- 33lakhs (Delhi).
Below is the full list of teams along with the prices of the players:
Now it is quite natural to have a liking towards the singles shuttlers or them getting the limelight is and it is something that won't change ever. But all that the doubles are asking for at the moment are to be given similar importance. One thing that can be clearly seen from the auction is that Indian singles players have earned more when compared to the overseas but it's the other way round in case of doubles shuttlers.
There has been an outrage from the players too, not just fans. Doubles shuttler Sumeeth Reddy will be getting an amount of 3lakhs. He took to social media to express his thoughts on the auction:
To this and as a whole on the auction, fans too joined the bandwagon of expressing their disappointment over the situation.
Then there was Aparna Balan who once again will not be part of PBL. Last season too she went unsold and expressed displeasure, it was repeated this time.
One may justify it to be depending on their performance, okay let's agree on that bit for a while, then it should have been the same with his doubles partner Manu Attri who will be earning more (not complaining). The one thing that really makes you think is that then what about Sikki Reddy or even Ashwini Ponnappa (earning more than her partner Sikki) for that matter who have been playing at their best at present in both women's and mixed doubles.
To add to this list, Pranaav Jerry Chopra (who will also be earning more that his partner Sikki) or Sawtik too. The latter must be young but he is a power-packed performer when it comes to doubles. A glimpse of that was seen in the last edition and therefore it was a smart decision for Hyderabad to retain the young shuttler but he surely deserved more than what he's bound to get.
One can't really understand the minds of those bidding but if it is to win the league with the best players, fair enough but they must also understand that the league also bears responsibility of uplifting young and upcoming players. At least it is believed to be the idea behind the league.
Then why this discrimination and what do fans make of this? Don't think it will have an answer. And to be true, once the league commences things will be back to normal and everything will go with the flow. This outrage will go unnoticed like it has been in the past.
To conclude, this PBL has made one thing clear and that is, 'numbers don't always tell the truth!'