Meet Monu Goyat: Kabaddi's ₹1.51 crore wonder
The Day 1 of Pro Kabaddi Auctions was on concluding phase. Just as Chris Cowdrey announced player no. 76, the bidding amount rose to 100 lakhs in less than a minute. The auction tables had turned into battlefield amoung UP, U Mumba and Delhi when Haryana came out of nowhere at 139 lakhs.
The bidding war back and forth finally ended when Haryana acquired the 'Silent Assassin' at ₹ 1.51 crores; more than Jason Roy, JP Duminy and Imran Tahir (some of the iconic cricketing names sold under IPL auctions).
Monu Goyat had built a reputation for himself to attain that tremendous amount. A poverty-stricken farmer's son from Bhiwani, Haryana grew up observing his uncle; Vijender Singh who had a short-lived career due to a knee injury.
Just like every renowned Kabaddi player commenced their careers, Monu did the same playing the game with local boys from Bhiwani. His positioning in Services Board restricted him from playing three initial seasons of PKL. Who might have thought that this non-experienced campaigner would bag this much signing amount with just two seasons played?
Goyat had a decent PKL start when Bengal Warriors signed him for 18 lakhs. 59 raid points in 13 matches with an average of 4.54 raid point per match is a good start.
But nobody remembers the Goyat playing for Bengal Warriors just like nobody remembers Pardeep Narwal playing for Bengaluru Bulls in their careers.
It was all going stable for Monu until season five. Patna Pirates' reputation was all about the Pardeep Narwal show.
Many proclaimed Pardeep didn't have a supporting raider in Patna's squad. But Goyat proved his metal the very first match versus Telegu Titans scoring eight (six raid plus 2 defense) points with Pardeep's 15 raid points.
Together the left-right raiding unit of Pardeep-Monu brought shivers down the opposition's defense. Whenever Pardeep got tackled, it was Monu Goyat to make the revival along with bringing do or die raid points for the team as well.
He scored 191 raid points in 26 matches and went on to make Patna three times champion in a row with 7.35 average raid point per match. In fact Monu was the second highest do or die raider with 45 do or die raid points in season 5 next to Deepak Hooda's 47!
Goyat just like a normal raider has his arsenal moves like the running hand touches and escapes.
His signature move is the toe touch which he makes on the left cover often with his opposite leg.
What is special in Goyat is his smart raiding which implies in today's Kabaddi, more wise and sagacious. Goyat's efficiency and hard work didn't go in vain when his team, Services were runners-up in Kabaddi Nationals and champions in the Federation Cup.
A matured and leadership engraved Goyat had a bang in his international debut when he got 28 raid points in 40 raids with a Super 10 against Kenya as well.
Goyat will be donning the blue-white jersey of Haryana Steelers this time around. He has improved under immense training and polished his nature of raiding under the coaches' he has played.
Now he is worthy enough to be given a title of a lead raider no matter whichever team he plays, many more raid points to come. The only thing we want more from Monu are those cute 'smiles' which he gives less often.