The three-day auction event for the eighth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) witnessed intense bidding wars and strategizing among all 12 franchises. Each team filled their respective squads with many talented names for PKL 8, which is slated to take place in December this year.
Over 190 players were signed to the 12 franchises, with the teams spending ₹48.22 crore in total. A total of 10 Final Bid Match (FBM) cards were used at the PKL Auction 2021, where those players returned to their previous teams for PKL Season 8.
Jaipur Pink Panthers were the only team to use both their FBM cards. Meanwhile, Dabang Delhi K.C., Tamil Thalaivas, and U Mumba were among those franchises which didn't opt for single retention through FBM cards. Instead, they opted to pick fresh new faces for their respective franchises for the upcoming season.
The use of FBM cards plays a vital role for teams to retain their former players who played a vital role in their last campaign. These players add value to the side and bring their previous season's experience to the table, which could prove crucial for the franchise.
With that in mind, here's a look at the top five picks from the FBM cards used by the teams at PKL Auction 2021:
#5 Mahender Singh (Bengaluru Bulls)
After releasing Mahender Singh into the auction pool, it was evident that Bengaluru Bulls were going to use their FBM card on the 'Bulldozer' even if his price had gone up. Surprisingly, the Bulls got their rock-solid left cover defender at a bargain price of just ₹50 lakh through the FBM card at the PKL Auction 2021.
The Himachal Pradesh native has been a vital cog in the Bengaluru Bulls' defense over the past three seasons. With 181 tackle points and 12 High-5s to his name, he has been their top defender in the PKL.
The burly lad is known for his hard-hitting dashes and timed blocks, and will once again lead the team's defense in the upcoming eighth edition of the PKL.
#4 Sandeep Dhull (Jaipur Pink Panthers)
When Sandeep Dhull's name popped up, it was expected that his price would go through the roof. However, the teams didn't express too much interest in the corner defender during the PKL Auction 2021. The Jaipur Pink Panthers made perfect use of the this opportunity and signed him for just ₹45 lakh.
Dhull is a prominent left corner who made his remarkable comeback for the Jaipur Pink Panthers during the sixth season. From that point on, he has been a mainstay for the side. He was the fourth-best defender of PKL 7 with 73 tackle points and five High-5s.
The corner pair of Amit Hooda and Sandeep Dhull will once again play for the Abhishek Bachchan-owned franchise during the eighth season as they look to consolidate their names.