Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Sonu Narwal removed from Haryana Steelers squad on PKL website
The fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League is all set to start on July 28 and will feature a record 12 teams this time around, after four new ones were added. Teams from Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat were a part of the Season 5 auction in May, where they built their new squads to compete in what will be the biggest franchise-based tournament in the history of Indian sport.
The side from Haryana, named the Steelers, recorded a fine showing in the auction, making some smart buys and in the process, building an extremely competitive squad for the new season. They named defender Surender Nada as their priority pick ahead of the auction and proceeded to build a balanced lineup that has the perfect mix of youth and experience, coupled with good bench strength.
However, it seems though one of their star raiders will not be a part of the Steelers squad after his name was removed from their page on the official Pro Kabaddi website. Sonu Narwal, who is one of the most experienced names in the sport, has three seasons of PKL experience under his belt and averages 4.18 raid points per match, which is quite a decent return.
He was part of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games, defeating Iran in the final, and has previously starred for the Jaipur Pink Panthers and Puneri Paltan. At the auction, he was bought for a bargain sum of Rs 21 lakhs, which was widely acknowledged as one of the best value-for-money purchases.
Here is a screengrab from the PKL website of Haryana's squad, that does not include the veteran raider:
However, if you look at Sonu Narwal's official profile on the same website, he is still shown as a Haryana Steelers player. When contacted about the same, the team's spokespersons refused to make any official comment on the matter.
On the team's page, Narwal has apparently been replaced by raider Mohammed Bilal, whose profile has no information available on the site. A quick look at the list of players who went under the hammer in May shows a raider named Mohd. Bilal, who is 21 years old, hails from Uttar Pradesh and has played at the Senior State Level.
The team have also stated that they will make an official announcement in this regard soon.
Published 14 Jul 2017, 16:16 IST