Leander Paes’ Mumbai franchise backs young talents in Tennis Premier League 2019 player auction

Mumbai: Tennis legend and co-owner of Mumbai Leon Army, Leander Paes and coach Sukhwant Basra chose a unique approach and backed youngsters Niki Poonacha and Aryan Goveas by picking them up at a price of Rs 2.25 and 1.25 lakh respectively at the auction of the second Tennis Premier League in Mumbai on Sunday.

 Leander Paes Mumbai franchise backs young talents in Tennis Premier League 2019 player auction

File image of Leander Paes. AFP

Interestingly, Niki triumphed against Aryan at the Fenesta Nationals last week.

While the young players received an encouraging response, there was a tough battle between the teams for the top players of the country.

In the men’s category Saketh Myneni (Delhi Binny’s Brigade), Somdev Devvarman (Gujarat Panthers), Vishnu Vardhan (Bengaluru Hawks), Jeevan Neduncherhiyan (Punjab Bulls) and Purav Raja (Pune Warriors) all fetched an identical prize of Rs 2.25 lakh.

Ankita Raina (Delhi Binny’s Brigade), Pranjala Yedlapalli (Punjab Bulls), Mahak Jain (Gujarat Panthers) and Rutuja Bhosale (Pune Warriors) were bought for Rs 1.5 lakh each, a media release said.

Leander said, “I am happy to see the players getting more than the base price and I am looking forward to hosting international players in the next couple of years”.

Apart from the top men and women players, the auctions also saw an encouraging response for the Girls U-18 and Boys U-14 categories.

A total of eight teams with eight players will fight it out to be crowned champions for the second edition, to be held between 12-15 December.

Updated Date: Oct 13, 2019 23:31:29 IST

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