PKL Auction: It's time for kabaddi-kabaddi-kabaddi again

The auction for the seventh edition of the Pro Kabaddi League will be held in Mumbai on April 8-9 and the likes of Monu Goyat, Rahul Chaudhari and Nitin Tomar are up for grabs.

Rahul Chaudhari (R) will be among the big names to go under the hammer at the PKL Auctions on April 8 and 9.   -  K. V. S. Giri

The auctions for the seventh season of the Pro Kabaddi League will take place on April 8 and 9 in Mumbai, where 12 teams will battle it out to pick the best available talent heading in to the new season.

FOLLOW THE AUCTION LIVE HERE

Each team can buy between 18 and 25 players in the auction, with 18 being the minimum number. Over 441 players will be up for grabs this year, 388 domestic and 53 foreigners and the teams' purse has been increased from ₹4 crore to ₹4.4 crore.

Twenty nine players have been retained in the Elite Retained Players category ahead of the auctions, an increase from the previous season’s 21.

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Of the six players who were bought for more than ₹1 crore last year, four of them – all Indians – have been released: Monu Goyat (Haryana Steelers, ₹1.51 crore), Rahul Chaudhari (Telugu Titans, ₹1.29 crore via FBM), Nitin Tomar (Puneri Paltan, ₹1.15 crore) and Rishank Devadiga (UP Yoddha, ₹1.11 crore via FBM). Jaipur Pink Panthers' Deepak Niwas Hooda (₹1.15 crore) and U Mumba's Iranian defender Fazel Athrachali (₹1 crore) are the only two big names to be retained.

Each franchise also has the option of retaining a maximum of six players and three New Young Players (NYP) who have been selected through the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme (FKHP) – PKL’s nationwide talent hunt for players under age of 22.

“As the numbers from the season 6 (PKL) suggest, one-third of the NYP’s have played in nine matches or more. Since there are more young players involved in it, the number of points scored across the 138 matches has increased. So, we have decided to increase the number of young players for the teams,” league commissioner Anupam Goswami told Sportstar earlier.

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The last two seasons have seen players emerge from the FKHP do phenomenally well in the league. Gujarat FortuneGiant's Sachin Tanwar emerged as his side's top scorer and won the 'Emerging Player of The Year' award in season five, while UP Yoddha's Nitesh Kumar became the first defender to bag 100 points in a single edition of the PKL last season.

Aiming for squad continuity

To build squad continuity, a new category called ‘Retained Young Players’ has been introduced, where teams can retain players previously picked from the 'New Young Players' category, after the player has completed two seasons with the team. These retained young players do not count towards the existing cap of six new young players a team can get.

The new category will help teams retain a majority of its squad from the previous season, which is something league commissioner Anupam Goswami stressed on.

“The League is cognizant of the significance of squad continuity and long-term association of players with their respective teams towards creating strong hooks and bonds for fans as well as sponsors. With this realisation, VIVO Pro Kabaddi League has consistently strengthened its Player Retention Policy to facilitate and augment squad continuity, to benefit players as well as their teams,” he said.

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Puneri Paltan is the only outfit which hasn't retained a single player this season. The players retained by the teams this year sees a mixture of young and experienced players. Tamil Thalaivas has retained Ajay Thakur for the second year in a row, along with Manjeet Chhillar, while a host of young players, including Haryana Steelers' 21-year-old Vikash Khandola, have been retained.

Here's the complete list of Elite Retained Players:

Team

Players 1

Player 2

Player 3

Player 4

Bengal Warriors

Baldev Singh

Maninder Singh

--

--

Bengaluru Bulls

Rohit Kumar

Pawan Kumar Sehrawat

Ashish Kumar Sangwan

--

Dabang Delhi K.C

Meraj Sheykh

Joginder Narwal

--

--

Gujarat Fortunegiants

Sachin

Sunil Kumar

--

--

Haryana Steelers

Kuldeep Singh

Vikash Khandola

--

--

Jaipur Pink Panthers

Deepak Niwas Hooda

Sandeep Kumar Dhull

--

--

Patna Pirates

Pardeep Narwal

Vikas Jaglan

Tushar Patil

Jawahar

Puneri Paltan

NA

NA

NA

NA

Tamil Thalaivas

Ajay Thakur

Manjeet Chhillar

Victor Onyango Obiero

--

Telugu Titans

Armaan

Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari

Farhad Rahimi Milaghardan

Krushna Madane

U Mumba

Fazel Atrachali

Rajaguru Subramanian

Arjun Deshwal

--

UP Yoddha

Amit

Sachin Kumar

--

--

 

Apart from the retained players, teams also have a 'Final Bid Match' card. Introduced last year, it gives a team the option to get a player who was in its squad the previous season by matching the final bid made for him at the auction. For example, Haryana Steelers as released Monu Goyat. During the auction, the Steelers can match a bid made for the raider by another franchise by using the FBM card and get him back at the revised value.

If a team has not retained the maximum allowed number of players, it gets two cards. Otherwise, it gets only one.