India's Yuki Bhambri will lead the challenge of Delhi Binny's Brigade in the Tennis Premier League 3.0, which will be played in Mumbai later this year. Yuki was picked for Rs 4.20 lakh at the auction here on Tuesday and also finding a place in the team was Manish Suresh Kumar, while the women's slot was filled by Thailand's Peangtarn Plipuech, ranked 294 in the world.
TPL 3.0 will have participation from five international women players, including Samantha Murray Sharan from Great Britain, Diana Marcinkevica of Latvia, Sabina Sharipova of Uzbekistan, Valeriya Strakhova of Ukraine and Sofia Shapatava of Georgia, besides Peangtarn. The highest bid of the day was in favour of Ramkumar Ramanathan, who was picked for Rs 4.5 lakh by the Mumbai Leon Army, co-owned by Leander Paes.
India's top ranked men's player Prajnesh Gunneswaran was picked by Rajasthan Tigers for Rs 3.70 lakh, while Saketh Myneni went to Pune Jaguars for Rs 4.40 lakh. Divij Sharan was picked by Gujarat Panthers for 4.10 lakh, while Purav Raja went to the Chennai Stallions for 3 lakh. Ankita Raina garnered the highest price for women's players, picked by Hyderabad Strikers for 4.10 lakh, while from the other Indian women in the auction, Rutuja Bhosle, was picked by Pune Jaguars for Rs 3 lakh.
While each team picked two men's and one women's player at the auction, another male and women's player for each team will emerge from the Talent Days, to be played from June onwards. Besides the owners of the respective 8 teams, co-owners Leander Paes, Rakul Preet Singh, Sonali Bendre Behl and Divya Khosla Kumar were present to select the best players for their respective teams. "The Tennis Premier League has seen a tremendous growth since its inception and I'm very excited for its third season now," Paes said in a release.
"We have 8 strong teams in the league and we have seen encouraging response in the past two years, which only promises that this season will be much larger at scale." The tournament will see eight teams, including Pune Jaguars, Bengaluru Spartans, Delhi Binny's Brigade, Gujarat Panthers, Mumbai Leon Army, Chennai Stallions, Rajasthan Tigers, and Finecab Hyderabad Strikers, fighting for the title.