Pro Kabaddi Auction 2018: Puneri Paltan CEO Kailash Kandpal made extra bid for Nitin Tomar to dissuade UP Yoddha from using FBM
Puneri Paltan landed a major signing during the Pro Kabaddi League Season 6 auction, as they signed Nitin Tomar for a whopping sum of Rs 115 lacs (Rs 1.15 crore). However, they made a rather surprising move when Tomar was going under the hammer, something that they claim, was done to dissuade the left-raider's former franchise from using the Final Bid Match card.
Puneri Paltan had an impressive showing at the Pro Kabaddi League Season 6 auction as they managed to assemble a good mix of experienced and young players in their squad.
During the auction for Nitin Tomar, several teams were in the running to nab him, but the ones who persisted even after the Rs 100 lacs mark, were Dabang Delhi and Puneri Paltan. Puneri Paltan had the bid at Rs 110 lacs after Delhi backed out.
However, they still went on to raise it to Rs 115 lacs which made him the joint highest-paid player, along with Deepak Niwas Hooda, who was bought by Jaipur Pink Panthers. Kandpal later explained why they made the surprising bid, despite the fact that they already had Tomar.
"We had a clear strategy to get one good left raider and we wanted to step it up to keep his former franchise (UP Yoddha) from using the FBM card," Puneri Paltan CEO Kailash Kandpal said to Sportskeeda.
The Pune-based franchise retained four players - Girish Ernak, GB More, Rajesh Mondal and Sandeep Narwal, before the auction as their Elite Players.
They added more mettle to the squad, as they went on to buy last season's most expensive player Nitin Tomar in an intense bidding war at a massive value of 115 lacs.
Kandpal highlighted that Puneri Paltan managed to build a balanced squad and their aim was to strengthen their raiding unit going into the auction.
"We have got Nitin, left raider and GB More. Along with them, we have two do-or-die specialists Rajesh Mondal and Deepak Kumar Dahiya. We also managed to get good NYP Players such as Monu, Rinku Narwal," said Kandpal.
Puneri Paltan's captain last season, Deepak Niwas Hooda was bought by Jaipur Pink Panthers for a sum of Rs 115 lacs. Hooda was Puneri Paltan's captain and his absence will have to be compensated by Pune's new buys. When asked about the leadership role, Kandpal was non-committal in his words.
"The management still has to sit with the coach and decide on the leader. We have got a couple of good options, we will be evaluating and making the announcement soon," he said.
Nitin Tomar was the captain of the UP Yoddha side and could be the go-to option for Puneri Paltan as well. But, Kandal chose to reserve his comments on the topic and not declare a clear favourite for the captain position.
Puneri Paltan had a good season last time around and will hope to follow their calculated auction approach with a power-packed performance in the upcoming Pro Kabaddi League Season 6, that starts in October this year.