Icon players Mithun Manjunath, Prakash Raj, Sai Pratheek get full price at Grand Prix Badminton League auction

World No. 76 Mithun Manjunath will represent Malnad Falcons in the Grand Prix Badminton League slated to be held in Bengaluru from July 1 to 10. (Pic credit: BAI)
World No. 76 Mithun Manjunath will represent Malnad Falcons in the Grand Prix Badminton League slated to be held in Bengaluru from July 1 to 10. (Pic credit: BAI)

The much-awaited Grand Prix Badminton League (GPBL) is all set to get underway in a couple of weeks’ time at the Karnataka Badminton Association (KBA) Hall in Bengaluru.

The star-studded inaugural edition of the GPBL will be held from July 1 to 10 at the famous KBA Hall, MG Road, Bengaluru. The ambitious league, exclusively for Karnataka badminton players, got a much-needed boost after a mega auction was held in Bengaluru recently.

As many as three out of eight icon badminton players -- Mithun Manjunath, Prakash Raj and Sai Pratheek fetched their maximum cap price of Rs 3.5 lakh apiece in the auction.

World No. 76 Mithun Manjunath was picked up by the Malnad Falcons. The in-form Mithun, who will turn 24 on June 28, has been making rapid strides at international-level badminton tournaments.

Badminton doubles specialist Sai Pratheek was purchased by Mandya Bulls in a draw of lots after the four teams bid for the player. Prakash was bought by KGF Wolves at the top price.

Other icon players who went under the hammer were Saneeth Dayanand, Daniel Farid, Raghu Mariswamy, Tanya Hemanth and Janani Ananthkumar.

Saneeth Dayanant was bought by Kodagu Tigers for Rs 2.6 lakh, while Daniel Farid went to Bandipur Tuskers for Rs 3.1 lakh.

Mangaluru Sharks grabbed young Raghu Mariswamy for Rs 3.3 lakhs. Two of the most promising Indian women’s singles players Tanya Hemanth (Mysore Panthers: Rs 3.2 lakh) and Janani Ananthkumar (Bengaluru Lions: Rs 2.5 lakh), also earned decent value for their immense talent.

Mysore Panthers bought 18-year-old badminton prodigy Tanya Hemanth for Rs 3.2 lakh in the auction. (Pic credit: BAI)
Mysore Panthers bought 18-year-old badminton prodigy Tanya Hemanth for Rs 3.2 lakh in the auction. (Pic credit: BAI)

Each badminton team consists of eight players including one icon player

Each team consisted of eight players, including one icon player. Each team comprises a minimum of two Tier-1 and Tier-2 players, respectively, and a minimum of two female players, including the icon category.

The player purse per team is Rs 12 lakh out of which Rs 2 lakh is reserved for player awards. The base fee for Icon players was set at Rs 2.5 lakh and was capped at Rs 3.5 lakh. The minimum salary for Tier-1 players was fixed at Rs 75,000 while capping it at Rs 2 lakh while Tier-3 players’ minimum salary was Rs 25,000 and a maximum of Rs 50,000.

In the auction where 238 players were registered, 64 players were bought. 14-year-old Rujula Ramu (Tier-1) fetched Rs 1.8 lakh and was selected by the Kodagu Tigers while 13-year-old Jade Anil was the youngest player to be chosen by Bandipur Tuskers for Rs 30,000.


All eight teams will be mentored by badminton stars

The teams will be mentored by their respective superstar mentors. Malnad Falcons will be mentored by ace doubles star Chirag Shetty, while Bandipur Tuskers will have the expertise of former star Jwala Gutta, who is also the co-owner of the team. The Mysore Panthers will be guided by Satwiksairaj Rankireddy while the Kodava Tigers will be guided by Ashwini Ponnappa.

Mandya Bulls will have the support of Tokyo Olympian Sai Praneeth and KGF Wolves will be mentored by Thomas Cup star HS Prannoy.

The Mangalore Sharks will have Kidambi Srikanth as their ambassador while the Bengaluru Lions will be tutored by double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu.

The teams are divided into two groups. The top four overall teams will play the second stage, which will be played on a round robin basis. The top two will clash for the title on July 10.


Badminton team groupings

Group A

Bandipur Tuskers, Mandya Bulls, Kodagu Tigers, Mangalore Sharks.

Group B

The Mysore Panthers, Bengaluru Lions, KGF Wolves, Malnad Falcons.


Team compositions

Bengaluru Lions

Total spend: Rs 10 lakhs

1. Janani Ananthakumar Rs 250,000

2. Bhargav S Rs 200,000

3. Nithin HV Rs 200,000

4. Sanjeeth S Rs 200,000

5. Vaibhav Srinath Rs 50,000

6. Aditya Diwakar Rs 50,000

7. Sudeep Suresh Rs 25,000

8. Supraja 25,000

Kodagu Tigers

Total spend: Rs 8.75 lakhs

1. Saneeth Dayanand Rs 260,000

2. Rujula Ramu Rs 180,000

3. Ramya Venkatesh Rs 100,000

4. Vasantha Kumar HR Rs 190,000

5. Vishesh Sharma Rs 30,000

6. Sheethal D Rs 50,000

7. S Adarsh Kumar Rs 40,000

8. Saif Ali Rs 25,000

Mandya Bulls

Total spend: Rs 9.25 lakhs

1. Sai Pratheek Rs 350,000

2. Ananya Praveen Rs 80,000

3. Ashith Surya Rs 200,000

4. Kiran Balaji Rs 80,000

5. Anirudh Deshpande Rs 100,000

6. Aruj Maheshwari Rs 35,000

7. Kamurthy Raghavendra Rs 30,000

8. Karnika Sree Rs 50,000

Mangalore Sharks

Total spend: Rs 8.65 lakhs

1. Raghu Mariswami Rs 330,000

2. Vijetha Harish Rs 80,000

3. Prerana N Shet Rs 90,000

4. Kushal Raj Rs 200,000

5. Jayanth Gopal Rs 80,000

6. Sunil Gladson Rs 30,000

7. Sachin C Rs 30,000

8. Shashank S Rs 25,000

Malnad Falcons

Total spend: Rs 9.75 lakhs

1. Mithun Manjunath Rs 350,000

2. Drithi Yatheesh Rs 160,000

3. Pruthvi Roy Rs 200,000

4. Shamanth S Kidiyoor Rs 140,000

5. Venkatesh Prasad Rs 50,000

6. Pranav Krishnamurthy Rs 25,000

7. Arvind Kongara Rs 25,000

8. Janvi Rs 25,000

Bandipur Tuskers

Total spend: Rs 9.55 lakhs

1. Daniel Farid Rs 310,000

2. Alfiya Riyaz Rs 80,000

3. Abhishek Yeligar Rs 180,000

4. Apeksha Nayak Rs 80,000

5. Vaibhaav Vaibhaav Rs 200,000

6. Jade Anil Rs 30,000

7. Kishal Ganapathy Rs 50,000

8. Ganesh V Rs 25,000

Mysore Panthers

Total spend: Rs 9.9 lakhs

1. Tanya Hemanth Rs 320,000

2. Rohit Mariswamy Rs 200,000

3. BM Rahul Bharadwaj Rs 200,000

4. Chiranjeevi Reddy Rs 80,000

5. Kiran Kumar G Rs 80,000

6. Tarun Morab Rs 30,000

7. Muskaan Khan Rs 50,000

8. Riya Pillai Rs 30,000

KGF Wolves

Total spend: Rs 9.3 lakhs

1. Prakash Raj Rs 350,000

2. Gloria Vinaykumar Rs 90,000

3. Hemantha Gowda Rs 100,000

4. Suhas V Gowda Rs 200,000

5. Naren S Iyer Rs 80,000

6. Rudra Shahi Rs 50,000

7. Rashmi Ganesh Rs 30,000

8. Amritha P Rs 30,000.

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Edited by Puranjay
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