PKL 2018: The five most expensive picks at the auction

History was made at the Pro Kabaddi League season six auction, when the franchises went all out to get their right set of players.

File photo of Monu Goyat (right). Goyat has become one of the six PKL players to be bought for Rs 1 crore or more.   -  Special Arrangement

The 12 Pro Kabaddi League franchises came up with different strategies for the season six auction. Three franchises — Jaipur Pink Panthers, U Mumba and UP Yoddha — hadn't retained any player before the auction and used the auction to build from scratch.

The franchises were willing to invest quite heavily in their squads, the heavy investment indicating the franchises' intent for the season starting in October and also the growing popularity of kabaddi, which is an indigenous sport of India.

Here are the five most expensive picks at the recently-concluded auction.

Monu Goyat (Haryana Steelers, Rs 1.51 crore)

A Himachal Pradesh-born raider, Monu Goyat will turn out for Haryana Steelers this upcoming PKL season.

He finished last season fourth on the list of total points won (202), total raid points won (193) and fifth on the list of players with the most successful raids (159). Therefore, Haryana Steelers appears justified in spending nearly 40 per cent of its purse (Rs 4 crore) on one player.

Read: Goyat becomes most expensive PKL player on record-shattering day

Mohammad Ghouse, the Haryana Steelers CEO, said that the franchise will back Goyat and ensure the weight of the auction fee doesn't hamper his performance in the upcoming season.

Rahul Chaudhari (Telugu Titans, Final Bid Match, Rs 1.29 crore)

Born in the Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Chaudhari will feature for the Hyderabad-based franchise, Telugu Titans.

For the second season in a row, he has been retained by Titans, who exercised one of its two Final Bid Match cards to keep one of its standout players from last season.

Chaudhari's performances in PKL 2017 were largely similar to Goyat's, finishing in the top five for points won (193) and successful raids (159).

Deepak Niwas Hooda (Jaipur Pink Panthers, Rs 1.15 crore)

A native of Andhra Pradesh, 23-year-old Deepak became the first Indian player in PKL history to be auctioned for Rs 1 crore or more. When Jaipur Pink Panthers shelled out the amount, few expected the mark to be breached in the entire auction let alone just minutes later.

At Puneri Paltan last season, Deepak racked up eight super raids, finishing third on the list, behind Pardeep Narwal and Rishank Devadiga.

Nitin Tomar (Puneri Paltan, Rs 1.15 crore)

Paltan has filled the void left by Deepak Niwas Hooda through the purchase of Nitin Tomar, a raider who hails from Uttar Pradesh and was unlikely to come cheap at the auction.

Read: Yoddhas, Dabang Delhi hog limelight

Bought for a then-record of Rs 93 lakh by Jaipur Pink Panthers, Tomar finished the last season with a tally of 177 points, 167 raid points and seven super raids.

Rishank Devadiga (UP Yoddha, Final Bid Match, Rs 1.11 crore)

Devadiga, who was born in Mumbai, finished last season with the second-most number of super raids (12). With 170 points, he finished the season 10th on the list of total points won.

UP Yoddha had retained none of its players before the auction and exercised one of its two FBMs on Devadiga.

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