The Straits Times
Published on Sep 19, 2012

Big deal for shuttler Nehwal underlines sport's growth in India


NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has signed a three-year deal worth a reported US$7.4 million (S$9.3 million) with a sports management company, underlining badminton's growth in the otherwise cricket-crazy country.

The only non-Chinese in the top five of women's badminton, Nehwal won a bronze in this year's London Olympics and capped the celebrations by signing a contract with Rhiti Sports that makes her India's highest paid sportsman outside cricket.

According to Wednesday's Indian Express newspaper, the three-year deal with the company which also manages Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is worth 400 million Indian rupees (S$9.76 million).

"We're very thrilled with the base amount and it's an honour since she's the first non-cricket athlete they've taken on," Nehwal's father Harvir Singh told the Indian daily.