Change of rules and reduction of base prices seem to have become a norm for the Indian Badminton League (IBL) as the base price of London Olympics silver medallist Mathias Boe was reduced to incorporate him as a replacement player in the Aug 14-31 tourney.
The 33-year-old Dane, who had vowed never to play in India after he went unsold in the players' auction, is now eligible to replace Awadhe Warriors Maneepong Jongjit. The Thai was suspended for three months by the Badminton Association of Thailand for an on-court brawl with compatriot Bodin Issara in Canada.
The IBL organisers have informed the teams that Boe has asked them to halve his base price to $25,000 and is now up for grabs.
"We got a letter from the organisers that Mathias Boe's base price has been reduced from $50,000 to $25,000," a team source told IANS on Friday.
"The mail mentioned that a new rule has been introduced by which unsold players can reduce their base price to be eligible as a replacement player. It will be subject to the clearance of the IBL governing council," the source added.
A top official in the Badminton Association of India (BAI) told IANS that Boe is available as a replacement player.
"Boe wanted to play in the IBL and after negotiations with the organisers he agreed to reduce his base price," the BAI source told IANS.
Ashish Chadha, chief executive of Sporty Solutionz, IBL's commercial partner, said Boe wanted to play in the tournament and had requested that his base price be reduced.
"Mathias Boe had contacted us. He wished to be part of the IBL and offered to reduce his base price. Now it is up to the teams to pick him," Chadha told IANS.
The IBL organisers had asked the Warriors to seek a foreign replacement for Jongjit in their remaining budget.
Boe had earlier cried foul and said he will never come to India after he went unsold at the auction.
"Didn't get sold in IBL. I'm really pissed, as I have supported the event all the way through and almost left the national team to participate. After Thomas Cup next year, I will never set my feet in India again or support any events from their side," Boe had tweeted after the auction.
Indian doubles shuttlers Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa, K.T. Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas were also upset after their base prices were slashed.