Premier Badminton League Season 5 Auction: Full list of players bought by North Eastern Warriors
The Premier Badminton League Season 5 auction kicked off in the capital city of New Delhi as the Player Auction for the fifth season saw a plethora of stars go under the hammer.
Seven franchises were in the running to pick up a minimum of nine players to build their squad, with at least three female shuttlers and a maximum of six foreign players.
The franchise from the city of Guwahati in Assam, North Eastern Warriors decided to take an unconventional approach as they retained the services of Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, who featured for them in Season 4. The shuttler from Thailand had earlier plyed his trade in the Premier Badminton League for the Chennai Smashers franchise in Seasons 2 and 3.
Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk achieved his career-best World Ranking of No. 9 back in 2013 winning a gold medal in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games held in Myanmar. He became the first Thai badminton player to win a Singles title in a BWF Super Series Premier competition when he won the 2016 Denmark Open.
Saensomboonsuk will lead the charge for the Men's Singles matches for the North Eastern Warriors in Season 5 of the PBL.
The next addition to the squad was that of Kim Ha-na for a price of 27 Lakhs, who was also a part of the PBL Season 4 squad of the North Eastern Warriors. Ha-na is an established name on the Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles circuit having reached her career-high ranks of World No. 5 and World No. 1 in Doubles and Mixed Doubles respectively.
Ha-Na is a former Mixed Doubles World Junior Champion (2006), Asian Champion (2013), Sudirman Cup Champion (2017) and also has a silver medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in the Women's team event. In addition to these laurels, Ha-na has also garnered multiple BWF Grand Prix and BWF Superseries titles. Her vast experience will prove key for the Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles matches for the North Eastern Warriors franchise.
Ashmita Chaliha, the young 20-year old from Assam was the next buy for the North Eastern Warriors who added the hometown girl at her base price of 3 Lakhs. Chaliha has been playing the sport since the tender age of thirteen and trained under solid coaches like Edwin Iriawan (Indonesia) and Indian coaches Suranjan Bhobora and even Indian legend Pullela Gopichand. She has won two BWF International Challenge/Series titles and was part of the Indian team at the 2018 Asian Games held in Indonesia.
After the backing of youth, the Warriors added some stealth to their squad with the acquisition of World No. 8 ranked shuttler Michelle Li from Canada. Michelle won the gold medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games when she became the first Canadian woman shuttler to win an individual gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
She has been a perennial gold medal winner at the Pan American Games and the Pan Am Championships racking up as many as 12 gold medals in Women' Singles, Doubles and Mixed Team events. Li's addition at her base price of 20 Lakhs could prove one of the best bargain buys of the auction with her being ranked amongst the World's top 10 shuttlers.
North Eastern Warriors some serious talent to their Doubles roster when they picked up South Korean shuttler Lee Yong-dae at a price of 44 Lakhs. Yong-dae has been formerly ranked World No.1 in both the Men's Doubles as well as the Mixed Doubles events. He has won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Mixed Doubles as well as the gold medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in the Men's team event.
Yong-dae brings a wealth of experience to the franchise having reached the World No. 1 ranking with four different partners and will be a key asset for the Doubles and Mixed Doubles matches.
A major surprise was the addition of Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk Yiu at a hefty price of 50 Lakhs after not having bid for the player in the initial bidding war. Yiu is an exciting young player who currently ranks 23 in Men's Singles and has won a BWF World Tour and BWF Grand Prix title.
23-year old Kaushal Dharmamer was bought at an economical 1 Lakh base price to add some depth to the Men's Singles roster. Dharmamer has won a couple of titles this year with the Myanmar International Series and the Maldive International Challenge in his kitty.
Young shuttlers Krishna Prasad Garaga and Rutuparna Panda were both at their base prices of 1 Lakhs having done well in the domestic circuit at the All India Ranking tournaments.
The final buy for the North Eastern Warriors was the Thai shuttler Bodin Isara at his base price of 18 Lakhs. Isara has been a longtime regular on the Asian badminton circuit and has won a BWF Superseries and BWF Grand Prix event. His partnership along with the experienced Lee Yong Dae could prove to be fruitful for the North Eastern Warriors.
The North Eastern Warriors are devoid of any star Indian names but could spring up a surprise in the season with some bargain buys of experienced shuttlers.
North Eastern Warriors Premier Badminton League Season 5 Squad
Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, Lee Cheuk Yiu, Kaushal Dharmamer (Men's Singles), Michelle Li, Ashmita Chaliha (Women' Singles), Lee Yong Dae, Krishna Garaga, Bodin Isara (Men's Doubles and Mixed Doubles), Kim Ha Na, Rutuparna Panda (Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles).
Follow Sportskeeda to know all about Premier Badminton League Teams and Squads for 2020 tournament along with schedule, results, live scores and much more.