PKL 2021 auction: UP Yoddha signs Pardeep Narwal for record Rs. 1.65 crore

Narwal, who entered the PKL auction for the first time after a five-year stay at Patna Pirates, was bought for Rs. 1.65 crore by Yoddha.

Pardeep Narwal was the star performer at Patna Pirates for the last five seasons.   -  RANJEET KUMAR

Pardeep Narwal made history on Monday as he was signed by UP Yoddha for an astonishing ₹1.65 crore, the highest fee every paid for a player in the history of the  Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).

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Monu Goyat held the record previously at ₹1.51 crore when he was bought by Haryana Steelers in 2019 Pardeep, who entered the PKL auction for the first time after a five-year stay at Patna Pirates, was always going to be the most sought-after player at the auction but none could have predicted the manner in which the bids flew in for him.

While his base price was set at ₹30 lakh, the Telugu Titans swooped in at the get-go with a massive ₹1.20 crore bid. UP Yoddha financially outmuscled its rivals to get hold of Pardeep for a never-seen-before figure and made sure the Dubki King would spearhead their quest for a first Pro Kabaddi League title.

Pardeep, one of the greatest players in the league, is the leading point-getter with 1160 points to his name. He won the league title thrice with Patna Pirates and also bagged the MVP award twice.

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"I am very happy that UP Yoddha has signed me.  It's my first time here and it's nice that a new team has signed me. I was hoping that I would go over the ₹1.5 crore mark and I'm very happy," he said after being roped in by UP Yoddha.

Earlier, UP Yoddha seemed to have got their target man in Siddharth Desai  for ₹1.30 crore, but the Telugu Titans used their Final Bid Match card to retain him. Siddharth, who is the fastest to 200 raid points in the PKL, had attracted strong interest from Patna Pirates and the Jaipur Pink Panthers, but it was Telugu Titans who prevailed.

"The team management took a good call to not retain me before the auction as they wanted to form a balanced team. We have a good team now with Surender also coming in it is well balanced. We will definitely play the final and take home the trophy this season," he said after being retained.

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