Goyat, Deepak & Rahul: 5 Most Expensive Pro Kabaddi League Players
The first day of the Pro Kabaddi League auction in Mumbai on Wednesday attracted some fierce bidding from the franchise owners, who didn’t mind breaking the bank for the athletes going under the hammer.
The first big haul of the day was Iran’s Fazal Atrachali, who was picked up by his former team U Mumba for Rs 1 crore. The Iranian defender made history as he became the first player to attract a bid of Rs 1 crore in the history of Pro Kabaddi League and ended the day as the most expensive foreign player. There was an intense bidding war between U Mumba and Pink Panthers before the Mumbai oufit outbid the Jaipur side.
If the first half of day belonged to the foreigners, the late half was absolutely conquered by the Indian athletes. Five Indians broke the 1 crore barrier, with Manu Goyat going one step ahead and breaching the 1.5 crore mark. Apart from Manu, all other usual suspects like Rahul Chaudhari, Deepak Hooda, Nitin Tomar and Rishank Devadiga made sure that the teams were up on their toes right till the end.
Here’s a look at the 5 most expensive players after Day one of the auctions.
The former Patna Pirates raider Monu Goyat shattered all records to become the highest paid athlete in the Pro Kabaddi League. Haryana Stealers picked up the local boy for Rs 1.51 crore, a mark breached for the first time in the history of the competition. In what was the most heated bidding war of the evening, Monu Goyat’s price went from a mere Rs 20 lakh to Rs 1.1 crore with just seven bids.
U Mumba and Dabang Delhi KC raised their paddles over and over again, before the Steelers came in with a swift bid of 1.39 crores. After bids of Rs 1.44 crore from U Mumba and 1.45 crores, the Steelers camp named their price at Rs 1.49 crore. As Chris Cowdrey’s hand went up with the hammer, Delhi raised their price to Rs 1.5 crore only for the Steelers to return with a record and final bid of Rs 1.51 crore.
Before Patna Pirates, Monu played a season with the Bengal Warriors. He was also instrumental in helping Services clinch the Senior Federation Cup Kabaddi tournament this year. With 250 raid points from 39 matches Monu hope to have a record breaking season with the Steelers.
One of the best raiders among the current lot, Rahul will be back with The Telugu Titans for the next season after they used the ‘Final Bid Match’ card to match the bid of Dabang Delhi. Rahul was the second the most expensive player of the day at Rs 1.29 crore.
In Rahul’s own word he was thrilled to be back with the Titans. Earlier, Titans’ decision not to retain him raised quite a few eyebrows.
With 666 raid points in 79 matches at an average of 8.43 points per match, the Himachal-born raider has been one of the consistent performers in the kabaddi league.
After a fierce bidding war between Delhi and Haryana, late entrant Jaipur Pink Panthers picked up Deepak Hooda for Rs 1.15 crore. An elated Deepak Hooda was surprised after attracting such a high price. Deepak’s previous team Puneri Paltan decided not to exercise their Final Bid Match Card.
Previously, he was also part of the Telugu Titans in the first two seasons. Hooda joined Puneri Paltan in 2016 and played for the Pune-based franchise in the third and fourth seasons. Not surprisingly, Hooda was retained ahead of the fifth season in 2017 for Rs 72.60 lakh.
At the player auction of the inaugural season back in 2014, Hooda was the recipient of the second highest bid when he was bought by Telugu Titans for Rs 12.60 lakh.
Nitin was picked up the Pune outfit for Rs 1.15 after they outbid the Dabang Delhi.
After warming the benches for the first two seasons of the league, the 23-year-old finally got a PKL contract in the third season with the Bengal Warriors. He turned out to be a revelation, with 77 raid points in his first season.
Nitin's meteoric rise saw him become the most expensive player at the auctions for the fifth season, where Uttar Pradesh Yoddhas acquired him for an astronomical Rs 93 lakh. Caught in an intense bidding war with Telugu Titans, Team UP finally acquired the services of the star raider.
Rishank Devadiga became the fifth player in the auctions to fetch Rs 1 crore and the fourth Indian after UP Yoddha used their ‘Final Bid Match’ card to retain him for Rs 1.11 Cr.
Rishank started his career with U Mumba in the first season, who had bought him for Rs 5 lakh. Last year, newcomer UP Yoddha bagged the 25-year old for a sum of 45.50 lakh.
In the eighty matches he has played so far, Rishank has collected 449 raid points at an average of 5.61. The Mumbaikar was awarded the best raider in season three.