On a day when Saina Nehwal rejoiced her USD 1,20,000 capture by her 'home' side Hyderabad HotShots, another top Indian star was left disappointed by the reduction in her base price.
Commonwealth Games women's doubles champions Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa went to Delhi Smashers and Pune Pistons respectively at USD 31,000 (Rs 18,51,520) and USD 25,000 (Rs 14,93,125) after their base price was reduced from USD 50,000 to USD 25,000 following a meeting of all the franchises at the last moment.
Doubles specialist Gutta, later said that she was disappointed with the reduction.
"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 In fact, the fact that the women's doubles has been replaced by singles. I came to know late. What can I say, I am disappointed," she said.
Ashish Chadha, CEO of Sporty Solutionz, the commercial partner of IBL, explained the situation. He also added that the IBL had decided to pay them the deficit amount.
"Last night we had a closed bidding but then two players Jwala and Ashwini went unsold, so it was scrapped and it was decided that their base price be slashed to USD 25,000 and all icon players should be put under the hammer at the auction," said Chadha.
"Since Jwala and Ashwini were signed as icon players keeping in mind the women's doubles, which was later replaced with another singles event, the IBL decided to safeguard their interest by paying them the deficit amount and give them a chance to fetch a bigger amount in the auction," said Chadha.
(With PTI inputs)