In the realm of Indian sports, few leagues have resonated as profoundly as the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). This league has not only transformed the face of kabaddi but also garnered immense recognition on a national and international scale.
The dawn of the PKL heralded an unprecedented revolution, catapulting previously unsung kabaddi players from the hinterland of India into the spotlight. This metamorphosis breathed new life into one of India's most cherished indigenous sports. It sparked a surge in its popularity and firmly placed it on the nation's entertainment radar.
One of the most striking features of the league is the soaring demand for players, as evidenced by the intense bidding wars that unfold during each auction. Last season, more than three players crossed the ₹1 crore club, with Pawan Kumar Sehrawat fetching the highest bid of ₹2.2 crore from Tamil Thalaivas.
It is an exciting battlefield where players switch teams, creating anticipation and excitement during the yearly auction. Here's a closer look at the three most expensive players in the history of the league.
#1 Pawan Kumar Sehrawat to Tamil Thalaivas - ₹2.26 crore (PKL Season 9)
The PKL Season 9 auction marked a ground-breaking moment when Pawan Kumar Sehrawat became the league's first-ever player to be worth ₹2 crore-mark.
Tamil Thalaivas secured him with a jaw-dropping ₹2.26 crore bid. With an impressive record of 987 raid points and 49 Super 10s in 105 matches, Sehrawat's arrival was highly anticipated.
Having tasted a lot of success with the Bengaluru Bulls, Sehrawat's trajectory took a twist due to an unfortunate injury that sidelined him for the entirety of Season 9. However, with determination, he eyes a strong comeback in the Season 10 auction, leaving fans curious about which team will acquire this talented raider.
#2 Vikas Kandola to Bengaluru Bulls – ₹1.70 Crore (Season 9)
Vikas Kandola took the spotlight in the season 9 auction as the Bengaluru Bulls invested ₹1.70 crore to secure him. His consistent raiding performance, amassing 732 raid points in 101 matches, made him an attractive pick.
He consistently scored more than 150 raid points every season over the years for the Haryana Steelers. Known for his steady performances with the Steelers, Kandola couldn't replicate the same magic with the Bengaluru Bulls as he just contributed 135 raid points. Despite helping the team reach the semi-finals, he was unexpectedly released.
#3 Pardeep Narwal to UP Yoddha - ₹1.65 crore (Season 8)
A significant moment in PKL history transpired in Season 8 when Pardeep Narwal, known as the 'Dubki King', surprised everyone by signing with UP Yoddha for a record-breaking ₹1.65 crore.
The league's all-time leading scorer, Narwal, amassed 188 raid points during the season. Even though he did well individually, UP Yoddha couldn't reach the semi-finals.
The subsequent season's auction marked Narwal's return in the auction, with UP Yoddha wisely choosing to retain him after recognizing his invaluable contributions to the team's dynamics. He scored 220 raid points and played a vital role in helping UP Yoddhas reach the playoffs.
In PKL, the thrill of auctions and player switches adds an extra layer of excitement to the game. Let's see who will fetch the highest bid in the season 10 auction, which is set to take place on 8th September 2023.