Dabang Delhi, which had a hefty purse balance of Rs 2.8 crore at the end of day one of the auction, stole the show in the second day of the Pro Kabaddi League player auctions as it was involved in most of the biddings for Category B players in the morning session.
Chandran Ranjit (Raider, Rs 61.25 lakh), Vishal Mane (Right-cover defender, Rs 45 lakh), Joginder Narwal (Left-corner defender, Rs 33 lakh), Viraj Vishnu (Left-cover defender, Rs 25 lakh) were the first of Dabang Delhi’s signings as the franchise wasting no time in securing its main targets. Rajesh Narwal, a Category C All-rounder, was another of Dabang Delhi’s acquisitions, albeit later.
Read: As the auction happened - Prashant Kumar costliest buy at 79 lakhs
UP Yoddha pulled off the marquee signing of the day by spending Rs 79 lakh on Prashant Kumar Rai, a raider from Karnataka. It was Dabang Delhi which opened the bidding for him and joined by Telugu Titans, but a winning bid was nowhere in sight. Bengaluru Bulls then joined and withdrew itself after a bid of Rs 57.5 lakh. Patna Pirates and UP Yoddha joined the bidding late but it was the latter which secured his signature with a massive bid of Rs 79 lakh.
Another low spender on day one, U Mumba, which had a purse balance of Rs 2.28 crore ahead of day two, pounced on the right and left-corner defender Dharmaraj Cheralathan, aged 43, from Telangana, securing his services for Rs 46 lakh. He was one of the stars of a Puneri Paltan team that reached the knockout stages of PKL 2017.
Ruturaj Shivaji became the costliest pick of the Category C players in the morning session, when Gujarat Fortunegiants bought him for Rs 30.4 lakh. Sachin Vittala was another defender added to Fortunegiants’ roster for Rs 20 lakh.
Also read: The most sought after players on the first day of PKL auctions
A majority of the Category C domestic defenders went unsold in the morning session, with none of the franchises entering the bidding.
In the afternoon session, however, the demand for Category C raiders was felt when three raiders were picked up for heavy amounts: Pawan Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls, Rs 52.8 lakh) was the biggest pick, while prices U Mumba paid for Abhishek Singh (Rs 42.8 lakh) and Siddharth Sirish Desai (Rs 36. 4 lakh) weren’t far off either.
Also, after the Category D players were auctioned, the franchises picked their nominations (from unsold players in all the Categories: A, B, C, and D) for the final round of auction. Then, Tamil Thalaivas picked up Right and Left-corner Defender, D. Gopu, for his base price of Rs 8 lakh, with N. Shiva Ramakrishna, Rahul Lal Chaudhary, Abhinandan Chandel, among others, getting picked by the franchises ahead of the sixth season of PKL.
Also read: Fortunegiants, U Mumba, Titans snap up three NYPs
The only Category A domestic player who had gone unsold on day one, Ravinder Pahal, came up for auction as part of the nominations. Dabang Delhi picked him at his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
Tamil Thalaivas did not make any big-money signing on day two as well, with its costliest purchases being Sunil, Jasvir Singh and Surjeet Singh for Rs 12 lakh each. Jaipur Pink Panthers and Telugu Titans had a fairly quiet second day having done much of their business on day one.
The focus now shifts to the start of season VI in October, when Patna Pirates will aim to win a fourth crown in a row having had a good auction. U Mumba, Haryana Steelers, Telugu Titans, Puneri Paltan, Jaipur Pink Panthers have been astute and invested in players with a good track record from the seasons gone by, therefore, they will believe they can have good seasons too.