New Delhi: Over 190 players were sold to 12 franchise teams with as many as 10 Final Bid Match (FBM) cards being used in the auction for the eighth season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), the organizers Mashal Sports said on Wednesday.
The auction witnessed teams spend Rs 48.22 cr in total, across the various categories of players.
During the three day auction, raider Pardeep Narwal emerged as the highest-paid kabaddi player in the PKL’s history. Narwal smashed a record after he was bought by UP Yoddha for a whopping sum of Rs 1.65 crore.
Meanwhile, Siddharth Desai was retained by the Telugu Titans through FBM card for Rs 1.30 crore.
Rahul Chaudhari found a new home with the Puneri Paltan for Season 8, scheduled to take place in December 2021. Tamil Thalaivas successfully bid for raider Manjeet, who joined them from Puneri Paltan for Rs 92 lakh.
Rohit Gulia, the all-rounder from Category A was sold to Haryana Steelers for Rs 83 Lakhs, a significant jump from his Rs 25 Lakhs price tag with Gujarat Giants in Season 7. He created history, commanding the highest-ever auction price for a Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) athlete.
Some other big buys included Sachin (Patna Pirates) for Rs 84 lakh and Chandran Ranjit (Bengaluru Bulls) for Rs 80 lakh. A stand-out from Category B was the purchase of raider Arjun Deshwal who was snapped up by Jaipur Pink Panthers for Rs 96 lakh.
Puneri Paltan successfully retained raider Nitin Tomar by using FBM card for Rs 61 lakh while all-rounder Sandeep Narwal was snapped up by Dabang Delhi KC for Rs 60 lakh.
The Delhi franchise also spent big bucks on defender Jeeva Kumar, who attracted a bid of Rs 44 lakhs. Veteran raider Ajay Thakur also found himself a new home with Dabang Delhi KC, who bought the former India captain for Rs 46 lakh.
Over 22 overseas players were sold on the second day. Iranian all-rounder Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh was the most expensive foreign signing as three-time champions Patna Pirates bought him for Rs 31 lakh. Patna Pirates also used one of their two FBM cards to retain Republic of Korea’s raider Jang Kun Lee for Rs 20.5 lakh.
Iranians were in high demand as defending champions Bengal Warriors bought defender Abozar Mohajermighani for Rs 30.5 lakh. Telugu Titans acquired the services of Japanese defender Tetsuro Abe for Rs 10 lakh.
Among Category C players, Sandeep Kandola emerged as the highest bid. He was bought for Rs 59.5 lakh by the Telugu Titans. Puneri Paltan bought Sombir for Rs 34.5 lakh while U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers spent Rs 32 lakh and Rs 20 lakh on Rinku Narwal and Amit respectively.
A total of 10 New Young Players (NYP) were picked up by franchisees at the auction. Some of the names include Mohit Goyat (Puneri Paltan), Govind Gurjar (Puneri Paltan), Prince (Telugu Titans) and Nitin Panwar (UP Yoddha). NYPs are uncapped players who have been drafted into the auction pool through Mashal Sports’ Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) programme.
”I never expected to be the highest paid player sold in the PKL Season 8 auction – it has been a memorable five seasons with Patna Pirates, and now I am looking forward to representing UP Yoddha this season. I would like to thank the UP Yoddha management and I’m ready to take on season 8 with a renewed spirit,” said Pardeep Narwal.