5 Most Expensive Players in Pro Kabaddi 2019 Auction
With just 29 players retained from the previous season, a total of 441 players entered the auction for the seventh edition of the Pro Kabaddi League.
Players have been split into five categories (A, B, C, D and NYP) of which, the foreign players, Category A players and Category B players went under the hammer on the opening day of the auction on Monday, 8 April.
And at the end of Day 1, here’s a look at the most expensive from of the Pro Kabaddi 2019 auction so far.
1. Siddharth Sirish Desai – Rs 1.45 Crore
Just like he raised a storm on debut in the Pro Kabaddi last year, Siddharth Sirish Desai’s bid got off to a flying start in the Season 7 auction. From his base price of Rs 30 lakh, Tamil Thalaivas kicked off the bid at Rs 1 crore and eventually bagged him for Rs 1.45 crore.
The bid made Desai the second-most expensive player in PKL history, second to Monu Goyat who was picked up for Rs 1.51 crore bid last year.
Last season, Desai had become the fastest in the tournament’s history to reach 50 raid points and then equalled the record to 100 raid points. However, his then team U Mumba chose not to retain him before the auction this year, or use their Final Bid Match (FBM) option on him.
2. Nitin Tomar – Rs 1.20 Crore
Nitin Tomar was forced to sit out several matches last season due to injury, but that didn’t stop Puneri Paltan from retaining the star raider for a massive Rs 1.20 crore.
It was Tamil Thalaivas who had initially won the bidding war against UP Yoddha, but the Pune franchise had the last laugh as they used their FBM card on Tomar.
He was the most expensive player in season 5 at Rs 93 lakh, and attracted a Rs 1.15 crore bid last season. Tomar was also part of India’s winning teams at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and the 2017 Asian Kabaddi Championship.
3. Rahul Chaudhari – Rs 94 Lakh
After six seasons of playing for Telugu Titans, Rahul Chaudhari will finally be seen donning new colours in Pro Kabaddi.
The league’s all-time top scorer with 876 points in 100 PKL matches, Chaudhari attracted bids from Tamil Thalaivas and Puneri Paltan with the former bagging him for Rs 94 lakh.
Chaudhari will now be joining his India captain Ajay Thakur and senior teammate Manjeet Chhillar in the Tamil Thalaivas team in Season 7.
4. Monu Goyat – Rs 93 Lakh
A Rs 1.51 crore bid last year made Monu Goyat India’s most valuable non-cricketing sportsperson and the most expensive player in the history of the tournament. But after a disappointing performance that saw him pick up 160 points in 20 games, Monu was released by his franchise Haryana Steelers.
In the PKL season 7 auction, UP Yoddha and Puneri Paltan entered the bidding for the raider, with the former eventually bagging him for Rs 93 lakh.
5. Sandeep Narwal – Rs 89 Lakh
Among the two all-rounders in Category A of this year’s auction, Sandeep Narwal had four franchises – Gujarat Fortunegiants, U Mumba, Dabang Delhi KC, Bengaluru Bulls –bidding for him at the Season 7 auction.
From his base price of Rs 30 lakh, it was U Mumba who eventually bagged the player for Rs 89 lakh after his previous season’s franchise Puneri Paltan chose not to use their FBM card.
The 25-year-old made his international debut when he was picked in the Indian squad for the 2016 South Asian Games. Since then he has been regular feature in the Indian side, and was part of the teams that won the World Cup in 2016, and the bronze at the 2018 Asian Games.