PKL 2019: 3 players who have surprisingly been retained by their franchises ahead of the auction

Manjeet Chhillar
Manjeet Chhillar

The Pro Kabaddi League is back in the news after a long time as the PKL auction is set to take place on the 8th and 9th of April. The 12 playing teams have released the list of their retained players. As always, there are a few shocks and surprises regarding the teams' retention policies.

Some big names like Rishank Devadiga, Rahul Chaudhari, Nitin Tomar, Siddharth Desai, Monu Goyat, Sandeep Narwal, Girish Maruti Ernak, Rajesh Mondal, Surender Nada and Mohit Chhillar have been let go of by their respective franchises.

Most of the teams have opted to retain the players based on their current form and not upon their previous performances. While some of the decisions regarding the teams' retention policy might prove to be masterstrokes, the others might not work out as desired by the team management.

Here, we take a look at the players who have shockingly been retained by their franchises ahead of the auction.

#3 Manjeet Chhillar

Manjeet Chhillar, the 32-year-old all-rounder was retained by Tamil Thalaivas along with Ajay Thakur and Victor Onyango Obiero. Despite having the most tackle points in PKL history to his name, his performance has seen a steep decline over the years.

In the 19 matches he featured last season for Tamil Thalaivas, he could only garner a combined total of 67 points at a poor average of 3.53 points per match. Mighty Manjeet's dashing thigh holds and quickfire blocks have slowly faded away and have become a thing of past. Added to that, he was one of the weakest links in Tamil Thalaivas' defence.

He hasn't been able to contribute in the raiding department as he managed just 8 raid points out of 29 raids. With such poor returns, Tamil Thalaivas might have made a huge blunder by retaining the services of Manjeet Chhillar.

#2 Meraj Sheykh

Meraj Shekyh had an underwhelming show for Dabang Delhi last season
Meraj Shekyh had an underwhelming show for Dabang Delhi last season

Meraj Sheykh, the all-rounder from Iran was retained by Dabang Delhi along with skipper Joginder Narwal. In spite of being one of the household names in the history of Pro Kabaddi League, he turned up with a below-par showing for Dabang Delhi last season.

He was out-of-form for a major part of the season and was also sacked by the Iran National Kabaddi Team. The Iranian only mustered a total of 97 points from 19 matches. He let the team down on several occasions and managed only 94 raid points from 213 raids at a poor strike rate of 44.13%.

Despite being labelled as an all-rounder, his contribution to the defence has been very scarce with just 3 points from 16 tackles. Hence, Dabang Delhi's decision to retain the services of 30-year-old Meraj might not prove to be beneficial.

#1 Ashish Kumar Sangwan

Ashish Kumar Sangwan flattered to deceive last season despite being highly rated
Ashish Kumar Sangwan flattered to deceive last season despite being highly rated

One of the more highly rated players in the league, Ashish Kumar Sangwan simply flattered to deceive last season. Bengaluru Bulls retained his services along with Rohit Kumar and Pawan Kumar Sehrawat.

Despite being with Bengaluru Bulls since the second edition of PKL, he has not made much of an impact to prove his worth. The right cover defender managed mere 45 points from 24 matches at an average of 0.87 points per match. Also, Ashish Kumar Sangwan had a meagre 5 raid points from 27 raids.

Out of the 87 tackles, he attempted last season, only 40 of them were successful, showing a severe dip in form. Moreover, he has initiated a low number of tackles and has mostly provided support for the tackles. Being one of the more underperforming players in Bengaluru Bulls setup, the decision of the franchise to retain Ashish Kumar is a vexing one.

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Edited by Raunak J
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