The player auctions ahead of the Pro Kabaddi League's (PKL) eighth season will get underway in Mumbai on Sunday with the New Young Players going under the hammer.
The New Young Players, or NYP in short, are the uncapped players who come through Mashal Sports' flagship Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) programme. The FKH is a nation-wide scouting hunt which sees coaches of various teams travel across the length and breadth of the country to identify and select the best young talents and gives them a platform to further elevate their game by competing in the Pro Kabaddi League.
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Some of the most successful finds of the FKH include Dabang Delhi's mercurial raider Naveen Kumar, UP Yoddha's captain and star defender Nitesh Kumar and Gujarat FortuneGiants' ace raider Rohit Gulia.
Naveen became the poster boy for the programme after his success in the league. He was the first player born in the 2000s to feature in the Pro Kabaddi League in season six. He put up a resilient display that saw him finish as the team's top scorer and guided the side to the playoffs. The youngster stormed to the limelight in season seven as he racked up a staggering 303 points, scoring a Super 10 in 22 of the 23 matches he played. (A Super 10 is when a player scores 10 or more points in a single game.)
Much like Naveen, Nitesh also grew into a league of his own as he became the PKL's youngest captain last season. One of the best defenders in the country, Nitesh is the first and only player to score 100 tackle points in a single season.
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The 12 teams can sign a maximum of seven NYP players and can also retain NYP category players that played for them in the last season. The retained players are referred to as the Retained Young Players (RYPs).