Pro Kabaddi League Auction 2018: 5 PKL teams that spent the most
Pro Kabaddi League Season 6 Auction came to an end today after two days of strategy and intense bidding wars that saw a total of 422 players going through the auction as the twelve franchises formed their squads for the upcoming season.
There was a huge amount of money involved in the proceedings as the auctioneer Chris Cowdrey oversaw the auction ensuring a smooth flow of bids for the talent available for the teams.
We take a look at the five franchises that spent the most amount of money to build their sides ahead of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 6 beginning in October later this year.
1. Telugu Titans - ₹398.535 lakhs
Telugu Titans began the auction in an exciting fashion when they picked up the first player to be up for bidding - Abozar Mohajermighani, the corner defender for a price of ₹76 lakhs setting the stage for the rest of the auction. Telugu Titans managed to build a squad of 18 players with a fairly young side.
Telugu Titans had retained Nilesh Salunke and Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari before the auctions and added Rakshith, Sombir and Vishal Bhardwaj to their retained list from the New Young Players of the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme.
Longtime Titans' star raider Rahul Chaudhari was missing from the retention list to the surprise of many but the franchise got their main man with a mammoth bid of ₹129 lakhs. They do not have many all-rounders in their list but will be hoping their investment pays off when the season kicks off.
2. U Mumba - ₹395.3 lakhs
The Pro Kabaddi League Season 2 champions came into the auction after not having retained any players and had the full purse of ₹400 lakhs available to spend in the auction.
U Mumba created history on the first day when they bought their former defender Fazel Atrachali for ₹100 lakhs, breaching the crore mark for the first time in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League. It was evident from their bidding strategy through the two days that their focus was strengthening their defence, which had been poor last season.
They went on to add more defensive mettle to their ranks when they bought the experienced Dharmaraj Cheralathan for a price of ₹46 lakhs. They added longtime Pro Kabaddi regulars Rohit Rana and Rohit Baliyan at the base prices.
U Mumba did not buy any of the usual star raiders but have invested in youth as they got Siddharth Desai (₹36.4 lakhs) and Abhishek Singh (₹42.8 lakhs) in their squad. Longtime skipper Anup Kumar and last season's promising star Shrikant Jadhav were not retained by the franchise.
3. UP Yoddha - ₹392 lakhs
The franchise from North India who debuted last season and impressed everyone with their performances had created history when they bought Nitin Tomar for ₹93 lakhs in last year's auction. UP Yoddha went into the auction this time around not retaining any of their stars with the availability of the full purse.
Most of the buys made by the UP franchise were at the base price of the players but they splurged on six players who would make up the core of the side in the Season 6. Rishank Devadiga, one of the most impressive performers for the Yoddhas last year was picked up by using the Final Bid Match card after Dabang Delhi had won the bid at ₹111 lakhs. Prashanth Kumar Rai (₹79 lakhs), Jeeva Kumar (₹45 lakhs) and Shrikant Jadhav (₹37 lakhs) were the other big money buys by the franchise.
4. Puneri Paltan - ₹386.446 lakhs
Puneri Paltan have always been one of the franchises who have impressed in the Pro Kabaddi League over the years. They came into the auction with four retained players - Rajesh Mondal (₹24.55 lakhs), GB More (₹13.57 lakhs), Girish Ernak (₹49.10 lakhs) and Sandeep Narwal (₹72.60 lakhs).
Puneri Paltan threw a big surprise when they decided not to retain their talisman last season - Deepak Niwas Hooda. However, they compensated for his loss with the successful bid of Nitin Tomar (₹115 lakhs) after an intense bidding war with Dabang Delhi Kabaddi Club.
They further bolstered their squad with the signing of talented players like Deepak Kumar Dahiya, Vinod Kumar, Rinku Narwal and Monu.
5. Haryana Steelers - ₹386.149 lakhs
The franchise who made their debut in the Pro Kabaddi League last year along with UP Yoddha were calm and calculated in their bidding approach.
However, they went all the way and smashed all records in Pro Kabaddi League history when they captured former Patna Pirates man Monu Goyat for a mammoth ₹151 lakhs making him the most expensive player in PKL history.
The other major signings made by the Steelers were the retaining of Surender Nada (₹75 lakhs) and Vikash Khandola (₹47 lakhs), both via the Final Bid Match cards. They also retained Wazir Singh (₹20 lakhs) and Kuldeep Singh (₹10.34 lakhs) in their squad making a well-balanced squad. The addition of Sachin Shingade (₹20 lakhs) to the defence also helps their cause in the quest to perform well in the upcoming season.
Which of the Pro Kabaddi League franchises will receive the bang for their buck when the Season 6 begins in October? Let us know in the comments below.