After inspiring her team to a 4-1 victory over Pune Pistons late on Monday, the World No. 4 said even though the Indonesian is a great player, it was ‘unprofessional’ of him to term the auctions ‘biased’ and post retirement he shouldn’t have expected much moolah.
“I don’t think there is anything unfair about the auctions. He (Hidayat) should accept it that he has retired now, so he can’t get the highest base price of course. I think World No. 1 ( Lee Chong Wei) got the highest price ($135,000).
It’s a negative thing to speak like this,” said Saina after scripting a come-from-behind victory over World No. 3 Juliane Schenk of Germany.
2004 Athens Olympics gold medallist Hidayat was bought for a meagre $15,000 (same base price) even as his less experienced counterparts in the team – Pradnya Gadre ($46,000, base price – $10,000), Tarun Kona ($28,000, base price – $15,000) and Ajay Jayaram ($25,000, same base price) – were purchased for higher sums.
This had prompted the three-time Asian Games champion, who has defeated shuttling superstar Lin Dan twice in his hey days, to pull out of the IBL from the next edition.
“The price slab that was set was nonsense. Most of the foreign players were sold for their base price while the Indian players were bought for much higher amounts. This is my first and last IBL,” Hidayat had said.
Defending the organisers, Saina said the IBL was meant for nurturing the game in the country. “There are many Indians playing in it and of course the tournament is for Indians to come up.
It is not like that we are doing anything wrong with the foreigners. What they are getting (money in IBL) I am sure they are all quite happy, because they don’t even get it by winning the Super Series title or anything. I don’t see this complaint coming from anyone else,” Saina said.
“Of course, he (Hidayat) is a great player, he has achieved so much. But right now I don’t think he should expect to get more than what he is getting,” the 23-year-old added.
Meanwhile, the London Olympics bronze medallist expressed utter displeasure over the umpiring decisions during her 17-21, 21-19, 11-6 triumph over Pistons rival Schenk.
“In the second set, many line judgements went against me. It was not one or two but five or six points that I lost. I was not happy. The umpires should overrule also. It’s their duty but I think none of the calls were overruled.
Finally we pulled off the match. But I don’t want to ponder upon the negative things after the win,” she said.