Gangtok, 06 Jan:
Sixty-six shuttlers were picked up by six teams during the auction for Jorethang Premier Badminton League-2 held at Jorethang in South Sikkim on Sunday evening.
The event is being organized by Badminton Association of Jorethang [BAJ] in association with Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party’s Sports wing and Labour front under the aegis of Badminton Association of Sikkim [BAS].
Transport Minister, Sanjit Kharel, was present as the chief guest for the auction ceremony accompanied by Secretary, Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Kuber Bhandari, present as the guest of honour.
Two franchises have returned from the last edition of JPBL - Red Panda GMTS owned by former Minister GM Gurung and Tshering Sherpa; and United Sikkim Shuttlers, the runners-up of last year now under a new name as Namchi Smashers, owned this year by Indian Olympian archer, Tarundeep Rai and football icon, Bhaichung Bhutia.
Four additional franchisees in this edition are The Poklok Warriors owned by RB Tamang who popularly known as Captain Jojo, Dallam Express owned by Power Minister MN Sherpa, David Warriors owned by Political Secretary to the CM, Jacob Khaling, and Chakung-Soreng MLA, Aditya Golay, and the home team, Salghari Zoom Blockers owned by area MLA, Sunita Gajmer.
Amol Rai, the much sought-after player, ultimately went to Poklok Warriors for a whopping Rs 20,800, setting a new record.
In the women’s category, Tashi Choden was the highest bid player at Rs 8,400 by Red Panda GMTS while Sunandita Bist was taken by Dallam Express for Rs 8,200.
All the 66 players were bought by the 6 teams at various bids within their kitty set at Rs 60,000 each.
The evening was abuzz with a tension filled air, but the charismatic aura of the auctioneer, Dewakar Basnet shone through with his calm demeanor and witty banter. The franchisees were filled with zest as they bid furiously to bag the best players under their team’s banner.
In between the auction process, the organizers have also felicitated BAJ vice-president, Bijay Tiwari, for his medal-winning performance in the recently held National Strength Lifting Championships at Udaipur and general secretary of BAS, Sukanta Das for becoming the Manager of the Indian National Badminton team and his contributions to the game in Sikkim.
BAJ president, Jigmey Namgyal, who is also the head of the organising committee, thanked all the franchise owners as well as the associate partners, SKM Sports Wing and Labour Front, for their contributions in making the event a big success.
The showdown of the 6 teams is scheduled for the second week of February.