PKL auction 2018: Spotlight on the big names, IPL-style Final Bid Match

The auctions of the biggest kabaddi league in the world, the Pro Kabaddi League, will see 422 players go under the hammer on May 30 and 31.

Patna Pirates has retained four players – Pardeep Narwal, Jaideep, Jawahar Dagar, Manish Kumar – who were a part of the title-winning side last season.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

One of the fast-growing sports leagues and the biggest kabaddi league in the world, Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) will enter its sixth season in October. The auction will take place on May 30 and 31 in Mumbai, with 422 players set to go under the hammer. The auction pool includes 87 players from the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme and 58 overseas players from nations such as Bangladesh, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, among other countries.

The players have been split into five categories (A, B, C, D, and New Young Players). The players in Categories A, B, C, and D have been set a base price of Rs 20, 12, 8, and 5 lakh respectively, while the New Young Players have a fixed price of Rs 6.6 lakh.

Of the 12 teams, only nine have exercised the option to retain their star performers. Patna Pirates and Puneri Paltan have retained four players each, the maximum number a franchise is allowed to. Jaipur Pink Panthers, U Mumba, UP Yoddha have chosen to not retain any of the players from last season and will use the auction to build a completely new squad.

READ:  Pardeep Narwal retained by Patna Pirates

Teams have a purse balance of Rs 4 crore each and the squad size can be between 18 and 25, including three from the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme and two to four overseas players.

List of players retained

Patna Pirates: Pardeep Narwal, Jaideep, Jawahar Dagar, Manish Kumar
Puneri Paltan: Sandeep Narwal, Rajesh Mondal, Gurunath More, Girish Ernak
Gujarat Fortunegiants: Sachin Kawar, Sunil Kumar, Mahendra Ganesh Rajput
Tamil Thalaivas: Ajay Thakur, Amit Hooda, C. Arun
Bengal Warriors: Surjeet Singh, Maninder Singh
Telugu Titans: Nilesh Salunke, Mohsen Maghsoudlou Jafari
Bengaluru Bulls: Rohit Kumar
Dabang Delhi: Meraj Sheykh
Haryana Steelers: Kuldeep Singh


Players to keep an eye on at the auction

Several high-profile names such as Nitin Tomar (raider), Anup Kumar (raider), Deepak Niwas Hooda (all-rounder), Mohit Chillar (defender), Manjeet Chillar (all-rounder), Rahul Chaudhari (raider), among others, were surprisingly not retained by their former teams and are sure to command large sums of money at the auction.

A new concept

The 'Final Bid Match' is the new addition to this season’s PKL auction, allowing teams to retain a maximum of two players by matching the final bid made by another franchise for a player.

ALSO READ: PKL becomes India's highest-rated non-cricket event on TV

In the case of Patna Pirates and Puneri Paltan, they can use only one Final Bid Match (to retain one player), having already retained four players.

‘Continuing advancement of Pro Kabaddi’

Speaking ahead of the auction, PKL commissioner, Anupam Goswami said, “The player auction for Pro Kabaddi season VI will be the culmination of the player policy for the upcoming season, which has been designed for long-term association as well as even redistribution of athletic talent. It epitomises the continuing advancement in Pro Kabaddi for quality competition, along with the right balance between compensation to athletes and affordability for their employers.”

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