A total of 116 players including foreign players, India international and domestic handball talents went under the hammer at the inaugural Premier Handball League auction on Sunday.
There are six franchises in PHL, namely- Delhi Panzers, Garvit Gujarat, Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra Ironmen, Rajasthan Team (yet to be named) and Telugu Talons.
42 Indian international players were up for selection by the franchises. Under this category, each team was allowed to pick only one player for each of the seven positions i.e. right-back, left-back, centre back, right wing, left wing and pivot.
Amongst the top Indian buys, Telugu Talons went for Raghu Kumara (pivot) a four-time national champion, Garvit Gujarat secured Harender Singh Nain (right-back) as their star Indian player, a three-time national champion and a two-time gold medallist at the Federation Cup tournaments and Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh selected Bhushan Shinde (right-wing) as their most valuable Indian player.
For Maharashtra Ironmen, winger Ankit Kumar – a member of gold medal winning Indian squad for the IHF Trophy in 2016 & 2018 and a silver medallist at the 2019 South Asian Games- was the most valuable player. Delhi Panzers went for pivot Mintu Sardar again a three-time national champion and lastly, it was Rajasthan who selected Robin Singh (left back) – a four-time national champion as their most valuable Indian star player.
42 out of the 56 Indian domestic talents were selected by the teams. Telugu Talons’ most valuable in this category was Rahul Nain (Pivot), Garvit Gujarat went with right back – Surender Kumar, and Golden Eagles selected Sanchit Gupta (right wing) and Mohit Punia (right-back) joined Maharashtra Ironmen. Delhi Panzers picked up the 20-year-old pivot Deepak and lastly, Rajasthan secured Mohit Ghanghas (left back) as their biggest player in the Role Players category.
The category of foreign players in the auctions were those who represented the Asian Handball Federation amongst other federations and all 18 International players were picked up by the teams. Each team was allowed to only select one foreign right-back, left-back and goalkeeper respectively.
Telugu Talons went for the services of Andrei Igorevich Nedbailo (goalkeeper) from Russia – a six-time Russian champion. Garvit Gujarat picked Tuliboev Mukhtor (right-back) from Uzbekistan, the 24-year-old is known for his exploits with the Uzbek team at the Interamnia World Cup wherein they clinched gold. Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh went all out to secure the services of Iran’s Omid Reza (goalkeeper), who has represented his country in the IHF Handball World Cup in the last two World Cup editions.
On the other hand, Maharashtra Ironmen secured the services of Iran’s right-back Jalal Kiani. Kiani is a silver medallist with the national team at the Asian Games. Delhi Panzers went for the 20-year-old Artem Martynov (right-back) from Russia, a 2019 Russian Handball Championship gold medallist. Lastly, it was the Rajasthan team, who selected the services of Iraq’s left-back Baderaladeen Naser.
Speaking about the auction process, Manu Agrawal, Co-founder of PHL said, “A successful auction process has taken us a step closer to D-Day. I would like to thank all the franchise owners, the South Asian Handball Federation and Handball Association India for making the auctions a huge success. Being the first edition, it took a lot of research by the franchises to select the best 17 for their team but this also makes the inaugural season even more exciting as a lot of unknown elements will be at play when they finally get onto the field.”
The Premier Handball League (PHL), is sanctioned by the South Asian Handball Federation and affiliated with the Asian Handball Federation (AHF).
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