NEW DELHI: The day one of seventh edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), which is modelled on the popular IPL T20 tournament, saw biddings with franchises shelling out upwards of Rs1 crore for players.
During the day one of the auction held in Mumbai Telugu Titans picked up Siddharth Desai for Rs1.45 Crore and raider Nitin Tomar went under the hammer for ₹1.20 crore and was retained by Puneri Paltan. These were the only two players which managed to enter the one crore club.
Among the top five bids, Rahul Chaudhari was picked up by Tamil Thalaivas for ₹94 lakhs, Monu Goyat was sold to UP Yoddha for ₹93 lakhs while Sandeep Narwal was bought by U Mumba for ₹89 lakhs.
Iran’s Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh is the highest valued international player, at ₹77.75 lakhs bought by Bengal Warriors. Iran’s Abozar Mohajermighani, sold for ₹75 lakhs to Telugu Titans, emerged as the second most expensive international player. Meanwhile, Patna Pirates picked up Korea’s Jang Kun Lee for ₹40lakhs and Iran’s Mohammed Esmaeil Maghsodhu for ₹35 lakhs. Korea’s Dong Geon Lee is the fifth most expensive international player sold to U Mumba for ₹25 lakh.
Meanwhile, a total of 12 players were retained by eight teams signifying the importance of squad continuity and long-term association of players with their respective teams. The retained players include Nitin Tomar and Girish Ernak (Puneri Paltan), Parvesh Bhainswal (Gujrat Fortune Giants), Mahendra Singh (Bengaluru Bulls), Chandran Ranjit and Ravinder Pahal (Dabang Delhi KC), Jaideep (Patna Pirates), Vishal Bhardwaj and Ebozar (Telugu Titans), Rohit Baliyan (U Mumba), Rishank Devadiga and Shrikant Jadhav (UP Yoddha). The 13-week league will start from 19 July.
PKL has emerged as a top performing sports league in India after Indian Premier League (IPL). According to a recent published by GroupM ESP, the sports and entertainment arm of GroupM stated that Pro Kabbadi League (PKL) had a good year in 2018, registering a growth of 31% over the previous year in on-ground sponsorship.