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), slated to take place in December, the organizers said on Wednesday.
Raider Pardeep Narwal emerged as the highest-paid kabaddi player in the PKL’s history as the three-day auction witnessed teams spend Rs 48.22 crore in total across various categories.
Narwal smashed a record after he was bought by UP Yoddha for Rs 1.65 crore, while Siddharth Desai was retained by the Telugu Titans through FBM card for Rs 1.30 crore.
Rahul Chaudhari will now play for the Puneri Paltan. Tamil Thalaivas successfully bid for raider Manjeet, who joined them from Puneri Paltan for Rs 92 lakh.
Rohit Gulia, an all-rounder from Category A, was sold to Haryana Steelers for Rs 83 lakh, a significant jump from his Rs 25 lakh price tag with Gujarat Giants in season 7.
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 bought defender Jeeva Kumar for Rs 44 lakh.
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.
A total of 10 New Young Players (NYP) were picked up at the auction.
Narwal said he never expected to be the highest paid player. “It has been memorable five seasons with Patna Pirates, and now I am looking forward to representing UP Yoddha,” he said.