PKL Auction: Siddharth Desai, Nitin Tomar top buys

Notable buys on day one were Siddharth Desai, bought by Telugu Titans for Rs. 1.45 crore, raider Nitin Tomar, retained by Puneri Paltan for Rs. 1.20 crore, Rahul Chaudhari bought by Tamil Thalaivas for Rs. 94 lakh, Monu Goyat to UP Yoddha for Rs. 93 lakh and all-rounder Sandeep Narwal going to U Mumba for Rs. 89 lakh.

Siddharth Desai

Telugu Titans went gung-ho with an opening bid of Rs. 100 lakh for Siddharth Desai, Rs. 70 lakh more than his base price. That set Titan's stance to get his signature and it eventually did for Rs. 145 lakh.   -  PKL

Raider Siddharth Desai stole the show on day one of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season seven players' auction when he was bought by Telugu Titans for a whopping ₹1.45 crore on Monday.

FOLLOW DAY 2 OF PKL AUCTIONS HERE

The attacker from Sangli in Maharashtra had earned plaudits with his stellar show in the last season of the PKL.

As it the auctions happened

Other notable buys on day one were raider Nitin Tomar, retained by Puneri Paltan for ₹1.20 crore, Rahul Chaudhari bought by Tamil Thalaivas for ₹94 lakh, Monu Goyat to UP Yoddha for ₹93 lakh and all-rounder Sandeep Narwal going to U Mumba for ₹89 lakh.

Despite teams releasing players ahead of the auction, as many as six defenders and four raiders were retained by teams using the Final Bid Match (FBM) card — an indication of teams looking for continuity as they transition from one season to another.

The evening started with Ran Singh going under the hammer. With a base price of ₹30 lakh, Gujarat Fortunegiants, Patna Pirates and Tamil Thalaivas were engaged in a bidding war which was won by Tamil Thalaivas, securing his services for ₹55 lakh. Bengal Warriors opted not to use its FBM card on the all-rounder.

Related: Siddharth 'ready to dance' after becoming costliest buy

That set the ball rolling for a very interesting evening, strategy-wise, with all category A defenders, raiders and all-rounders going big.

It was however the raiders who stole the limelight. Siddharth, on the back of fantastic debut season with U Mumba, saw Telugu Titans going gung-ho with an opening bid ₹100 lakh, ₹70 lakh more than his base price. That set Titan's stance to get his signature and it eventually did for ₹145 lakh.

The winning bid for Siddharth was still Rs ₹6 lakh below the record price paid for Bhiwani’s Monu Goyat by Haryana Steelers last year.

Related: Top five buys at the auction

Puneri Paltan retained no players as it aimed to start on a fresh slate under the helm of World Cup-winning ex-India captain Anup Kumar, but it couldn't let go of Nitin Tomar.

Teams at the PKL auction.   -  PKL

 

At ₹120 lakh, Tamil Thalaivas thought it won a three-way battle for Tomar with UP Yoddha and Gujarat but Puneri raised its FBM card even before auctioneer Chris Cowdrey could ask, if they wanted to exercise the option.

Here is the full list of players sold from category A:

Player

Team

Cost

Ran Singh

Tamil Thalaivas

₹55 lakh

Sandeep Narwal

U Mumba

₹89 lakh

Ravinder Pahal

Dabang Delhi (via FBM)

₹61 lakh

Surender Nada

Patna Pirates

₹77 lakh

Girish Ernak

Puneri Paltan (via FBM)

₹33 lakh

Surjeet Singh

Puneri Paltan

₹56 lakh

Jaideep

Patna Pirates (via FBM)

₹35 lakh

Mahender Singh

Bengaluru Bulls (via FBM)

₹80 lakh

Parvesh Bainswal

Gujarat Fortunegiants (via FBM)

₹75 lakh

Vishal Bharadwaj

Telugu Titans (via FBM)

₹60 lakh

Amit Hooda

Jaipur Pink Panthers

₹53 lakh

Chandran Ranjit

Dabang Delhi (via FBM)

₹70 lakh

Siddharth Desai

Telugu Titans

₹145 lakh

Nitin Tomar

Puneri Paltan (via FBM)

₹120 lakh

Monu Goyat

UP Yoddha

₹93 lakh

Rahul Chaudhari

Tamil Thalaivas

₹94 lakh

Rishank Devadiga

UP Yoddha (via FBM)

₹61 lakh

Prashanth Kumar Rai

Haryana Steelers

₹77 lakh

Shrikant Jadhav

UP Yoddha (via FBM)

₹68 lakh

 

Iranians go big

Earlier in the day, Iranians were the most sought after in the foreign players category. Abozar Mighani, last season's second-costliest foreign player, started with a base price of just ₹30 lakh but Patna Pirates outbid five other teams with a bid of ₹75 lakh. However, Telugu Titans used its FBM option to retain the Iranian for ₹1 lakh less than what it bought him a year ago.

Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, who was signed by Bengal Warriors for a league record ₹77.75 lakh, was another big buy in the foreign players category.

The morning also saw the first American player enter PKL fray when Telugu Titans signed 27-year-old NFL player Dewitt Jennings.

Two Koreans were also in the fray. Jang Kun Lee (₹40 lakh by Patna Pirates) and Dong Geon Lee (₹25 lakh by U Mumba) saw buyers.