Five notable transfers from the Pro Kabaddi Season 5 auction
The auction, which took place from 22-23 May, saw raider Nitin Tomar become the costliest player in Pro Kabaddi history
The player auction for Season 5 of the Pro Kabaddi League saw the 12 franchises spend a total of Rs46.99 crore on 227 players over two days. Raider Nitin Tomar received the highest bid at this year’s auction from Team UP: Rs93 lakh.This makes him the costliest buy in the history of Pro Kabaddi. If one compares this price with the highest bid from Season 1—Rs12.8 lakh paid by Patna Pirates for Rakesh Kumar—it shows how kabaddi has slowly gathered financial might. Here are five significant buys from the Season 5 auction:
Manjeet Chhillar (all-rounder, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Rs75.5 lakh)
The Jaipur Pink Panthers made a bold move by not retaining any of their existing players. Yet they seem to have completed a brilliant piece of business by getting Manjeet Chhillar. A mainstay in the Indian national kabaddi team, Chhillar has the rare talent of controlling the tempo of a kabaddi match, and has demonstrated this in previous seasons with the Bengaluru Bulls and Puneri Paltan. Having finished last season as the runners-up, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Jaipur Pink Panthers mounted a serious challenge for the Pro Kabaddi title this year with Chhillar in the team.
Nitin Tomar (all-rounder, Team UP, Rs93 lakh)
The costliest buy in the Season 5 auction and an exciting all-rounder, Tomar comes from an Indian Defence Services background, and played previously for the Bengal Warriors and Puneri Paltan. He was also part of the Indian team that won the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Team UP, one of the new franchises this year, will be hoping that Tomar’s skill with raids and tackles gives them an edge over the other new franchises in the league.
Fazel Atrachali (defender, Team Gujarat, Rs55 lakh)
One of the top international players in the league, Fazel Atrachali lifted the Pro Kabaddi trophy with the Patna Pirates last season. He had the highest tackle points (52) and was second in the list of most successful tackles (45) in Season 4. Having played for Patna and U Mumba earlier, the Iranian comes with loads of experience and could prove to be a good addition to Team Gujarat, one of the new franchises in the league.
Kashiling Adake (raider, U Mumba, Rs48 lakh)
Originally from Maharashtra, Kashiling Adake had been one of the most consistent performers for the inconsistent Dabang Delhi side in previous seasons. The tall and energetic raider had 58 successful raids for Delhi in Season 4. Things should get interesting now as he returns to Maharashtra to play for U Mumba alongside one of the most popular players in world kabaddi, Anup Kumar. U Mumba suddenly have an exciting team; apart from Kumar and Adake, the franchise also has raider Shabeer Bappu. If these three perform as expected, then U Mumba shouldn’t have any problems gathering plenty of raid points this season.
Rohit Kumar (raider, Bengaluru Bulls, Rs81 lakh)
The second-most expensive Indian buy in this season’s auction, Rohit Kumar has had a whirlwind last few months, owing to personal problems. That apart, Kumar has been excellent on the kabaddi mat. He finished Season 4 with 75 successful raids for the Bulls, who have gone out and bought him again this year. The Bulls have also purchased Ravinder Pahal, who will add a lot of steel to their defence. Kumar, on the other hand, will be expected to do what he does best—get plenty of successful raids.
Season 5 of Vivo Pro Kabaddi starts on 28 July on the Star Sports network and Hotstar