Alright guys, that brings us to the end of this year's Pro Kabaddi League auctions. It's been a super intense two days which saw Siddharth Desai emerge as this season's most expensive player after he was signed by Telugu Titans for a huge sum of ₹1.45 crore. The 12 teams have spent a grand total of ₹50 crore over the two days, on their bid to build their perfect team. Bengaluru Bulls will begin its title defence when the seventh edition of the PKL kicks off on July 19.
I thoroughly enjoyed live blogging the last two days and I hope you enjoyed the content! This is Shyam Vasudevan, signing off.
4:01 pm: UP Yoddha brings Gulveer Singh back on board for ₹10 lakh and that brings to the end of the PKL 2019 auction. All the 12 teams have met their team criteria and a total of ₹50 crore was spent over the last two days.
3:59 pm: Aman goes to Bengaluru Bulls for ₹6 lakh, while Subhash Narwal has been picked up by Haryana Steelers for the same amount.
3:55 pm: The auction resumes and Dabang Delhi signs two defenders, Satyawan D and Neeraj Narwal, for ₹6 lakh.
3:41 pm: Update from the venue, the teams will once again nominate five unsold domestic players in order to meet the minimum requirement of 18 players. A short break ensues.
3:38 pm: And that brings us to the end of this round. We'll have a short break to see if all the team's have the minimum number of 18 players.
3:34 pm: Puneri Paltan gets defender Satpal on board for ₹20 lakh, while Telugu Titans signs Sombir for ₹10 lakh. The latter was with Telugu Titans for the last three seasons.
3:31 pm: It's a flurry of back-to-back signings here. I'm going to put them all in a list now.
- Defender Anil Kumar to Dabang Delhi for ₹20 lakh
- Sonu goes to Gujarat FortuneGiants for ₹10 lakh
- Atul heads to U Mumba for ₹20 lakh
- Harsh Vardhan also goes to U Mumba for ₹10 lakh
- Bhuvneshwar Gaur signed by Bengal Warriors for ₹10 lakh
3:28 pm: Former Gujarat FortuneGiants captain Sukesh Hegde, who was last seen with Tamil Thalaivas, has been signed by Bengal Warriors for ₹20 lakh. Patna Pirates pick up defender Ravinder for ₹10 lakh, while Vinod Kumar heads to Bengaluru Bulls for ₹10 lakh.
3:25 pm: Defending champion Bengaluru Bulls gets him! After a bidding battle against Puneri Paltans, the side makes a ₹21.25 lakh bid to secure his services.
3:24 pm: Left-corner defender Vijay Kumar is fancied by Bengaluru Bulls and Puneri Paltan.
3:21 pm: Gujarat FortuneGiants' strengthens its raiding department by roping in GB More for ₹21.25 lakh. UP Yoddha picks up former Patna Pirates raider Surender for ₹10 lakh.
3:18 pm: UP Yoddha holds on to all-rounder Narender for ₹20 lakh, while Viraj Vishnu Langde and Mahendra Choudhary go to Bengal Warriors and Patna Pirates for ₹10 lakh and ₹6 lakh respectively.
3:15 pm: Like cricket's Pathan and Pandya brothers, the Desai brothers will now look to combine and wreak havoc on the mat. This should be fun!
3:13 pm: This one's big! Suraj Desai has been roped in by Telugu Titans for ₹10 lakh. Are you wondering what makes him special? He is Siddharth Desai's brother!
3:12 pm: Category C raider Vineet Sharma is picked up by Tamil Thalaivas for ₹10 lakh, while fellow raider Suraj Kumar goes to Telugu Titans for the same amount.
3:11 pm: Category C all-rounder Gurdeep is bought by UP Yoddha for ₹10 lakh.
3:09 pm: Looks like Haryana Steelers aren't letting Naveen go out of their sight. The re-sign him for ₹33.5 lakh.
3:07 pm: The auctions will now resume with unallocated players. Former Haryana Steelers raider Naveen is the first player up for grabs. Gujarat FortuneGiants express an interest in him right away.
3:05 pm: The auction is showing signs of resumption now. YAY!
2:55 pm: We've spoken about Pawan Kumar, but we cannot leave out Siddharth Desai who had a stellar debut campaign last season. The 26-year-old says he was "ready to dance" after becoming the league's second-most expensive buy. Here's more on that - Siddharth Desai 'ready to dance' after becoming costliest buy
2:50 pm: Here's what our reporter who's at the venue in Mumbai, Anirudh Velamuri, says:
2:45 pm: And the wait continues! We're not quite sure why there's a delay, but there isn't any auctioning happening at the moment.
2:40 pm: Did you know that Bengaluru Bulls' coach had personally visited Pawan Kumar to tell him we wanted him to join the Bulls? More on that here - Pawan Kumar dazzles with Bengaluru Bulls
2:35 pm: While we wait, why not take a quick trip down memory lane? Pawan Kumar Sehrawat produced an inspired performance to power Bengauru Bulls to its maiden PKL last season. Here's how that final went down - MVP Pawan Sehrawat leads Bengaluru Bulls to title
2:25 pm: We're waiting for the auctions to continue. The teams are to give a list of five domestic unalloted players they'd like to sign and there seems to be a bit of confusion surrounding it.
2:15 pm: That brings us to the end of the auctions for the New Young Players. These youngsters have had quite an impact on the league, a prime example being defender Nitesh Kumar. The right-corner defender took the league by storm when he cruised to 100 points last season.
Another great example is Gujarat FortuneGiants' Sachin, who picked up the Debutant of the Season award in season 5. In his two seasons in PKL, the raider has amassed an impressive 377 points, averaging 7.42 raid points per game.
You can read more about Sachin here - There is something in the name Sachin!
2:11 pm: Patna Pirates pick up raider Ashish for ₹6 lakh, while UP Yoddha bags junior nationals gold medal winner Ankush for ₹6.25 lakh.
2:09 pm: Delhi lad Abhishek is up next and Gujarat FortuneGiants and Bengaluru Bulls are interested in him. Manpreet Singh's Gujarat manages to get him for ₹8 lakh. Interestingly, one of Abhishek's key attributes is the Dubki !
2:06 pm: Andhra Pradesh's Mula Siva Ganesh Reddy is picked up by Telugu Titans for ₹6 lakh. It's a homecoming for the raider!
2:03 pm: Puneri Paltan and Gujarat FortuenGiants are both eager to rope him in and the bids go all the way up to ₹10 lakh. The Paltans manage to get him for ₹10.25 lakh. Jadav has played for the Pune state team.
2:01 pm: Maharashtra's Pratik Patil is up next and he's picked up by Dabang Delhi. Jadav Balasaheb Shahaji is the next man in and he's started a bidding war!
1:58 pm: Karamvir is the first NYP to be sold. He heads to Jaipur Pink Panthers for ₹6 lakh. He was represented Delhi at the U-19 nationals.
1:56 pm: Talking about the NYP ahead of yesterday's auction, league commissioner Anupam Goswami said, "It has worked well because it has given us a new generation (of players). We are still going with NYP programme. The teams are also doing their scouting and conducting programmes. It (NYP) could be one of the strongest elements of the league."
1:53 pm: In case you're wondering, The NYP are those who have emerged from PKL's nation-wide talent hunt called the Future Kabaddi Heroes Programme. The FKHP targets players under the age of 22 and allows them a chance to be a part of the league.
Each franchise will have the option of retaining a maximum of six players and three New Young Players (NYP) who have been selected through the FKHP.
1:49 pm: The auction for the New Young Players (NYP) who were previously unsold will get underway now. The base price for these players is ₹6 lakh.
1:45 pm: The auction is set to begin any time now. Did you know that Telugu Titans' coach Gholamreza Mazandarani is only the first foreign coach in PKL? And he's no unknown commodity in Indian kabaddi. He was at the helm of the Iranian team when it steamrolled India at the 2018 Asian Games and went on to lead the team to its first gold medal too.
1:40 pm: We're back!
1:00 pm: Time to break for lunch. The final session of the PKL 2019 auctions will resume at 1:40 pm, see you then! If you'd like to re-visit yesterday's live blog and see how the biggest names of Indian kabaddi fared in the auctions, here's the link - PKL auction day one highlights
12:57 pm: The top buys of the morning remain unchanged:
- Neeraj Kumar signed by Jaipur Pink Panthers for ₹44.75 lakh
- Vikas Kale to Haryana Steelers for ₹34.25 lakh
- Ajeet to Tamil Thalaivas for ₹32 lakh
12:55 pm: Fourteen players go unsold and that concludes this session.
12:53 pm: Gujarat FortuneGiants sign raider Gurvinder Singh for ₹10 lakh and we're now nearing the end of the session.
12:51 pm: The Bengaluru Bulls offer ₹16.25 lakh for him, but Bengal Warriors use their FBM to hold on to Rakesh.
12:49 pm: Drama! The bids begin to pour in as soon as Rakesh Narwal's name comes up. U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls are out to get him, while Gujarat FotuneGiants also join in.
12:44 pm: Shabeer Bappu is the next player to be signed as Tamil Thalaivas pick him for ₹10 lakh. Shabeer has represented U Mumba for four seasons and was with Dabang Delhi last season, scoring seven points from six matches.
12:40 pm: Haryana Steelers and Puneri Paltan are eager to get him on board and its the Steelers who prevail. Selvamani heads to Haryana Steelers for ₹16.5 lakh.
12:37 pm: Selvamani K is the next man to create a buzz. Last seen in action with Jaipur Pink Panthers, his best performance came in season four when he scored 45 raid points for Dabang Delhi.
12:32 pm: Puneri Paltans fight off competition from Bengaluru Bulls to sign Amit Kumar for ₹12 lakh.
12:27 pm: A bit of a lull continues and Tamil Thalaivas bring the auction back to life by getting Yashwant Bishnoi for ₹10 lakh. Yashwant was with Gujarat FortuneGiants last season, but had not featured in a game. The 19-year-old will now play alongside Ajay Thakur, in what would be a massive learning experience for him.
12:23 pm: After 10 players receiving no bids, Vinod Kumar creates a bit of a stir. However, there's little competition to sign him as U Mumba get him for ₹10 lakh.
12:19 pm: Telugu Titans, who bought Monu Goyat for ₹93 lakh yesterday, have roped in Amit Kumar for ₹10 lakh.
12:17 pm: The bidding for the category C raiders has begun. Abhishek Singh is the first one to attract a bid and Fujarat FortuneGiants seem to have signed him for ₹10 lakh, but U Mumba uses its FBM to retain him.
12:13 pm: Come to think of it, quite an intriguing move from Patna Pirates to sign Neeraj for such big money. The right cover defender, who has been with Haryana Steelers for the last two years, had not played a single game last season. Wonder what the strategy was to pick him.
12:10 pm: Here are the top buys from the morning session:
- Neeraj Kumar signed by Jaipur Pink Panthers for ₹44.75 lakh
- Vikas Kale to Haryana Steelers for ₹34.25 lakh
- Ajeet to Tamil Thalaivas for ₹32 lakh
12:05 pm: We missed out three signings earlier this morning - Sagar B Krishna and Avinash A.R. went to Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors for ₹10 lakh respectively, while Ajinkya was signed by U Mumbai for ₹10.25 lakh.
12:02 pm: The final player of the category, Sudhanshu Tyagi goes unsold and that brings the session to an end.
12:00 pm: Vijin Thangadurai and Vikram Khandola head to Bengal Warriors and Haryana Steelers for ₹10 lakh respectively.
11:58 am: The new-look Puneri Paltan side gets Deepak Yadav for ₹10 lakh. Deepak had played for U Mumba last season.
11:55am: Bengaluru Bulls gets Sandeep for ₹10 lakh and the next eight players go unsold.
11:53 am: Tamil Thalaivas further bolster their defence by acquiring Ajeet for ₹32 lakh. The Thalaivas signed the 'Raid Machine' Rahul Chaudhari yesterday and later also got on board Manjeet Chillar. With a fine balance between attack and defence, and the experience of India captain Ajay Thakur, the team seems very promising this time around.
11:50 am: We have a contest here! UP Yoddha and Tanil Thalaivas are going hammer and tongs to rope in Ajeet. From a base price of ₹10 lakh, the bid have reached ₹25 lakh in no time!
11:45 am: Raju Lal Choudhary's association with the Bengaluru Bulls will continue as he rejoins the reigning PKL champion for ₹10 lakh.
11:43 am: I just spoke about the Gujarat FortuneGiants and they have made use of their FBM! The two time runner-up retains Amit for ₹17.25 lakh via the FBM. Amit will now represent GFG for the third consecutive season. That's the first use of the FBM card today, by the way.
11:41 am: Sachin Vittala, who was part of Gujarat FortuneGiants' defence last season, receives no bids! Fun fact, the Karnataka lad was a pace bowler before he made the switch to kabaddi.
11:39 am: Make that six out of six! In his sixth year in PKL, Vikas will play for a sixth team - the Haryana Steelers. The Haryana outfit signs him for ₹34.25 lakh.
11:36 am: While the bids for Vikas continue, here's a bit of background on him. Having joined PKL in season 2, he has represented five teams in the five editions that followed. He was with the Bengal Warriors, Telugu Titans, U Mumba, Gujarat FortuneGiants and Patna Pirates, in that order.
11:33 am: Bengal Warriors get their man Amit for ₹17.5 lakh. The Warriors are at it again and have bid ₹10 lakh for Vikas Kale.
11:30 am: No bids here. Thirteen players receive no bids. Oh wait, we have a bid! Amit has attracted interest from Bengal Warriors and Bengaluru Bulls.
11:27 am: Harendra Kumar heads to U Mumba for ₹10 lakh and the unsold players are back in the fray for a second time now.
11:25 am: SOLD! Three-time champion Patna Pirates have the last laugh as they snap up Neeraj Kumar for ₹44.75 lakh. That, ladies and gents, is the biggest signing of the day.
11:24 am: Tamil Thalaivas throw their hat into the ring with a bid of ₹43 lakh!
11:22 am: In less than two minutes, we've reached a bid of ₹40 lakh for Neeraj! Patna Pirates joined the party with a bid of ₹31.25 lakh, but the Haryana Steelers outdid them with a massive ₹42 lakh bid. WOW!
11:20 am: Woah, would you look at that! Neeraj Kumar has set this morning's auction on fire! The moment his name pops up the bids begin to pour in and the Bengal Warriors and Gujarat FortuneGiants are at it! The bids have reached ₹30 lakh now.
11:19 am: We have another signing! Bengal Warriors pick up Dharmendra Singh for ₹10 lakh.
11:18 am: We have an MSD in the house! Mahendra Singh Dhaka it is, but unfortunately, he attracts no bids. Man, it sure would have been interesting to have an MSD in kabaddi, eh?
11:16 am: Tamil Nadu's C Arun is the first defender to receive a bid this morning and he goes to the Telugu Titans for ₹10 lakh. Tamil Thalaivas has the option to use the FBM card, but opts against it.
11:13 am: Speaking of Chris, he appears a tad bored here due to the absolute lack of bids! He tells someone at the Haryana Steelers table that their phone screen is a tad too bright and is affecting his sight. Ha!
11:10 am: Here's a fun stat we found out yesterday - the PKL auctioneer, Chris Cowdrey, in fact has a very strong Indian connect.
Cowdrey, a former England cricket team captain, made his Test debut against India in Mumbai ion 1984. And it gets better, his maiden test wicket came off his fourth delivery and guess who he dismissed? The iconic Kapil Dev!
11:08 am: And the "no bid" streak continues. None of the teams have raised a bid for the six domestic category C defenders that have been on offer so far.
11:05 am: Praise the lord, we finally have a bid! Bengal Warriors get Amir Santosh Dhumal for ₹10 lakh and that's the end of the auction for the all-rounders. We're on to the domestic Category C defenders now.
11:02 am: The teams seem rather uninterested in signing Category C all-rounders. Another eight of them are up for the auction but none of them attracts a single bid. Hmm.
10:58 am: No takers for Ananth Kumar, Hari Bhagwan, Sidharth, Awanish Kumar, Preetam Chillar, or Sandeep Kumar.
10:56 am: Gujarat FortuneGiants picks up Pankaj for ₹10 lakh and that's followed by a series of players that go unsold.
10:53 am: Jaipur Pink Panthers get their man Vishal. They stave off the challenge from Hayana Steelers and secure the all-rounder's services for ₹25.5 lakh.
10:50 am: The bidding for the Category C domestic all-rounders is on and Vishal has attracted interest from the Jaipur Pink Panthers and Haryana Steelers. From a base price of ₹10 lakh, we're now at ₹20 lakh.
10:45 am: Speaking after his record move of ₹1.45 crore to telugu Titans yesterday, Siddharth Desai said he was "ready to dance" when the bidding started for him! "I was expecting 70-80 (lakh) bids, honestly. I was very happy that Telugu Titans started with 100 lakh instead," he said. More on what he said here - Siddharth Desai 'ready to dance' after becoming costliest buy
10:35 am: Want to know how many bids Siddharth Desai had before he was finally bought? Want to know who else was in the fray before the Telugu Titans snapped him up? You can find all of it here, on our live blog of the first day of the PKL auctions .
10:25 am: The first day of the PKL auction was a supremely entertaining one. Iranian defender Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh became the second most expensive foreign player in PKL when he was signed by the Bengal Warriors for ₹77.75 lakh in the morning, but the bigger signings came later in the evening.
The man who had set the league ablaze last season, Siddharth Desai, was the most expensive buy as he went to Telugu Titans for a staggering ₹1.40 crore and in the process became PKL's second most expensive player. Nitin Tomar was the other major signing to hit the ₹1 crore mark as he was retained for ₹1.20 crore by Puneri Paltan.
Here are the top five buys of day 1 of PKL auction
10:15 am: Our reporter, Anirudh Velamuri, gives you a low down on how the first day of the PKL auctions unfurled.
Siddharth Desai, Nitin Tomar top buys
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.
The attacker from Sangli in Maharashtra had earned plaudits by his stellar show in the last season of the PKL.
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.
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.
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.
At ₹120 lakh, Tamil Talaivas 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.
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.
- Man United manager Ten Hag remains defiant after suspension
- Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena dies at 28 after suffering a cardiac arrest mid-game
- Premier League: Solanke brace lifts Bournemouth out of relegation zone with win over Newcastle
- Fernandez leads Canada into Billie Jean King Cup final after win over Czechs
- Juventus moves top of Serie A with 2-1 win over Cagliari