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Sunday, September 24, 2023
Home Other Sports Mithun Manjunath emerges as the top pick in the GPBL Players Draft

Mithun Manjunath emerges as the top pick in the GPBL Players Draft


The Bengaluru-born 25-year-old, who upset world No.7 Loh Kean Yew just a few days ago at the Australian Open.

The Grand Prix Badminton League (GPBL) Season 2 auction is set to take place here from August 27 to September 9.

After a bidding war with the Bengaluru Tigers, the 25-year-old from Bengaluru was acquired by the Chennai Superstarz for a staggering Rs 14.5 lakhs.

Mithun, with a starting price of Rs 8 lakh, falls into the icon category.

After teams were given the option of selecting no more than two international players, as many as 15 were drafted.

Shin Baek Cheol was the second-highest purchase, with Bengaluru Tigers paying Rs 14 lakhs for the Republic of Korea shuttler.

Cheol’s countryman Lee Dong Keun was signed by Gujarat Lions for Rs 13 lakhs, while B Sai Praneeth was signed by Northeast Rhinos for Rs 10 lakhs.

Polina Buhrova of Ukraine was the fifth-highest buy, picked by the Mumbai Wolves for Rs 9 lakhs.

In the draft, 80 players were chosen from a roster of 150 to represent eight teams in the upcoming season.

Over 500 people had registered for the auction. The player purse for each of the eight teams — Bengaluru Tigers, Hyderabad Hounds, Chennai Superstarz, Gujarat Lions, Kerala Tuskers, Mumbai Wolves, Pune Panthers, and Northeast Rhinos — was Rs 35 lakh.

Each squad consists of an icon player, at least two Tier-1 players, at least two Tier-2 players, and at least two women players, with the possibility of selecting up to two international players.

“We adopted a’maximum of two international players per team’ rule because we wanted more Indian players to be a part of GPBL,” stated Prashanth Reddy, GPBL commissioner.

“We are overjoyed with the outcome of the player draught.” The excitement shown by both teams and fans demonstrates badminton’s popularity and growth as a sport.” League director and former India player Arvind Bhat stated, “Considering the talent, the teams have strategically formed their squads.” Every team is well-balanced. However, with the League’s explosive format, any team can win on any given day.” The Karnataka High Court has allowed Indian shuttlers to compete in the GPBL Season 2 after suspending the operation of the Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) circular requesting that the players refrain from participating in the tournament.

There were talks of expanding the GPBL to ten teams, but the organisers were unable to get two more teams.



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