PKL Auction 2019: Summary of Day 1
The opening day of the Pro Kabaddi Auctions 2019 witnessed a lot of excitement and thrilling moments as the newest 'poster boy' of Indian kabaddi, Siddharth Desai, commanded the highest paycheck when the Telugu Titans secured his services for ₹1.45 Crore.
Nitin Tomar was the only other player to breach the ₹1 Cr mark as his services were snapped up for a sum of ₹1.20 Crore by the Puneri Paltan while last year's 'Crorepatis', namely Rahul Chaudhari (₹94 lakh), Monu Goyat (₹93 lakh) and Rishank Devadiga (₹61 lakh) saw a steep decline in their salary for the upcoming season.
However, it was a day to rejoice for the Iranian contingent as two of their lead players in Mohammad Nabibakhsh and Abozar Mighani demanded massive contracts on the day.
The former penned his name down as the second-costliest foreign player in PKL history as he received a contract worth ₹77.75 lakh to the Bengal Warriors while the Telugu Titans exercised their 'Final Bid Match' card to re-sign Abozar Mighani for ₹75 lakh.
Here is how the opening day of the PKL auction 2019 panned out -
With each team allotted a total of ₹4.4 Crore (Inclusive of the pay associated with retained players), a total of ₹42.86 Crore was spent on the opening day to procure the services of the players as the twelve teams combined to buy the services of a total of 19 Category 'A' players, 48 Category 'B' players and 12 'New Young Players'.
Siddharth Desai earned the largest paycheck for an Indian player as the Telugu Titans signed him up for a sum of ₹145 lakh while Iran's Mohammad Esmail Nabibakhsh claimed the highest bid for a foreign signing when the Bengal Warriors spent a total of ₹77.75 lakh on the Iranian all-rounder.
A total of 12 'Final Bid Match' cards were used, with prominent re-signings including those of Nitin Tomar (₹120 lakh - Puneri Paltan), Mahender Singh (₹80 lakh - Bengaluru Bulls) and Parvesh Bhainswal (₹75 lakh - Gujarat Fortunegiants).
Who were the costliest players from Day 1 of the auctions?
A number of stalwarts attracted massive bids from the opening day as the teams seemed to play out their strategies to perfection.
Siddharth Desai - ₹145 lakh (Telugu Titans)
Nitin Tomar - ₹120 lakh (Puneri Paltan)
Rahul Chaudhari - ₹94 lakh (Tamil Thalaivas)
Monu Goyat - ₹93 lakh (UP Yoddha)
Sandeep Narwal - ₹89 lakh (U Mumba)
Which teams made some of the 'value-for-money' purchases?
While one cannot term some of the purchases of franchises as 'smart', a couple of franchises did make a couple of value for money buys as they signed up quality players for relatively cheap prices and also had some luck going their way.
Girish Ernak - ₹33 lakh (Puneri Paltan)
Rishank Devadiga - ₹61 lakh (UP Yoddha)
Ravi Kumar - ₹20 lakh (Haryana Steelers)
What can we expect from Day 2?
The opening day of the auction saw the teams build a core of some of the best players on offer and with most teams satisfied with the exoskeleton of their setup, the second day would probably see the teams plugging all the loopholes and picking players to play specialized roles.
Yet, the auction is always full of surprises and with some stars set to come under the hammer, the second day also promises to bring about some excitement!