Mohit’s big leap from 'Chillar' to millionaire

The 23-year-old Nizampur-based clerk with North Western Railway, and for three seasons a right corner defender for U Mumba, was bought by Bengaluru Bulls for Rs. 53 lakh at the auction for Pro Kabaddi 4.

Mohit Chillar, who played for U Mumba last season, has been bought by Bengaluru Bulls.   -  ProKabaddi

Kabaddi star Mohit Chillar led a group of Indian multi-millionaires at the player auction held for ProKabaddi 4, which is set to begin in Pune in the last week of June.

The 23-year-old Nizampur-based clerk with North Western Railway, and for three seasons a right corner defender for U Mumba, was bought by Bengaluru Bulls for Rs. 53 lakh at the auction held at the Taj Mahal Hotel here on Friday. He, like many 'A' grade players, started at a base price of Rs. 12 lakh and ended at a record value of half-crore-plus rupees.

On Friday, 10 Indian kabaddi players were bought for more than Rs. 19 lakh at the second player auction. The second highest, after Chillar, was Patna Pirates’ Sandeep Narwal, who was bought by Telugu Titans at Rs.45.5 lakh.

The auction netted a total price of Rs.12.82 crores for 96 players from a list of 198.

Others who commanded a good price were Jeeva Kumar (Rs. 40 lakh, U Mumba), Jasmer Singh Gulia (Rs. 35.5 lakh, Telugu Titans; ex-Puneri Paltan), Kuldeep Singh (Rs. 30.4 lakh, Patna Pirates; ex-Jaipur Pink Panthers), Surender Nada (Rs. 30 lakh, Bengaluru Bulls; ex-U Mumba), Dharmaraj Cheralathan (Rs. 29 lakh, Patna Pirates; ex-Telugu Titans), Rakesh Kumar (Rs. 26 lakh, U Mumba), Bajirao Hodage (Rs. 20 lakh, Patna Pirates; ex-Bengal Warriors) and Ajay Thakur (Rs. 19 lakh, Puneri Paltan).

"U Mumba was a good team and Bengaluru Bulls is also a good team. My aim is to practise and play good kabaddi. I did not expect to be bought at Rs. 53 lakh, I thought it would be Rs. 35 or Rs. 40 lakh. I am from a middle-class family and life will continue to be the same for me and I will continue to work for the Railways," said Chillar, adding that he’s yet to inform his parents about the jackpot he struck at the auction.

The eight franchises had a purse of Rs. 2 crore to retain two players and bid at the auction. U Mumba retained Anup Kumar and Rishank Devadiga while Patna Pirates kept hold of Rajeev Mondal and Pardeep Narwal. The Telugu Titans decided to stick with Rahul Chaudhari and Sukesh Hegde and the Puneri Paltan retained Manjeet Chillar and Deepak Niwas Hooda. Bengal Warriors went for Girish Maruti Ernak and Nilesh Shinde with Dabang Delhi retaining Kashling Adake and K. Selvamani. Bengaluru Bulls decided to keep Ashish Kumar and Pawan Kumar and the Jaipur Pink Panthers retained Rajesh Narwal and Jasvir Singh.

Anupam Goswami, the head of ProKabddi Star India said, "The game is evolving and analytics are being used in kabddi in a big way. The broadcast of kabaddi by Star Sports is the best across any indoor sport in the world. We are going to bring in a surprise that will be quite remarkable. We have syndicate deals in 96 countries and West Asia; because of its sizeable South Asian population, it has the second largest viewership."

The Pakistan Kabaddi Federation offered eight players for the auction. Charu Sharma, the director of Mashal Sports, which has a stake in the kabaddi property, said, "Because of the environment, we don’t want to force it on anyone (to pick Pakistan players)."

An auction was also held for 'B' group players with a reserve price of Rs.8 lakh and 'C' group players with a reserve price of Rs. 5 lakh.

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