In modern-day sports leagues, a well-planned and well-executed auction has become just as important as the team’s performances on the field. This can almost make or break a team even before they enter the room.
The Pro Kabaddi League has been no different. Every season, teams have spent big amounts on key players and reaped the benefits. Even though, at times, the big buys have not delivered, the teams remain willing to go deep into their pockets to secure the services of top-rated players.
With the player auction for the ninth season of Pro Kabaddi League set to take place on August 5 and 6, here’s a recap of the most expensive buys in the history of the PKL auctions.
2021 - Pardeep Narwal - UP Yodhaa - 1.65 crore
It was Pardeep Narwal who took the highest bid at the 2021 auction and rightly so. Having been an integral part of the Patna Pirates team that completed a three-peat, Narwal was a hot-favourite in the lead up to the hammer. He repaid the faith put in him. His contributions to the team’s run to the semifinal included 188 points with nine Super 10s. Narwal also managed 12 super raids - the highest in the season.
2018 - Monu Goyat - Haryana Steelers - 1.51 crore
The second-highest auction buy in Pro Kabaddi is also a raider. Haryana Steelers decided to go big on Monu Goyat. The season did not turn out how the Steelers would have wanted and they finished bottom of the points tally. Goyat, too, could not make the most of his time on the mat with respect to raids but he did amass 10 Super 10s in 20 appearances.
2019 and 2021 - Siddharth Desai - Telugu Titans - 1.45 crore and 1.30 crore
The fact that Desai features twice on the list of top auction buys speaks about the ability of this raider. The debutant of the season in 2018, Desai holds the record for fastest to 50, 100, and 200 raid points. In 2019, Desai bagged 217 points for the Titans but that was not enough to take it to the eliminator or the qualifier. In 2021, his season was unfortunately cut short due to a wrist injury.
2018 - Rahul Chaudhari - Telugu Titans - 1.29 crore
Given his stature and abilities, it is not a surprise that Rahul Chaudhari appears on the list of most expensive buys. Though he might have better numbers to show for in his earlier stints in PKL, Chaudhari still managed 166 points in the season with a raid success rate of 39%.
2019 - Nitin Tomar - Puneri Paltan - 1.20 crore
Nitin Tomar first made a mark in PKL in season five when he was a pivotal part of the UP Yodhaa team that reached the eliminator. Following this, he was roped in by Puneri Paltan for the sixth season at a price of 1.15 crore. Despite making just 11 appearances in the season, Tomar gathered 102 points. This led to the Pune-side retaining his services for season seven at a whopping 1.20 crore.