Television

Pro Kabaddi League makes first ever player auction of Rs 10 mn

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MUMBAI: India’s second most watched sporting league –Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) – has entered its sixth season auctions. Riding on the back of five phenomenal seasons, the auctions are taking place on 30 and 31 May 2018 in Mumbai.

The salary purse of the franchise remains the same as Rs 4 crore per team with a minimum of 18 players mandatory in the squad. The teams are strategising to build their strongest teams.

A total of 422 players will be drafted into the auction pool of which 58 are overseas players and 87 are players from the Future Kabaddi Heroes Programme (FKH), a nationwide talent scouting programme. The auctions will witness player representation from 14 other countries including Iran, Bangladesh, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

iQuest CEO Nitin Kukreja came in for the support of Tamil Thalaivvas and said, “Previously there was not enough economic opportunity for people but with the likes of IPL and PKL the opportunities have been unlocked. We are setting up our first local residential academy in which we will provide free education to 70 children with the training which might help them to play for any franchise in PKL.”

Mashal Sports director Charu Sharma said, “I’m very mesmerised with the response we got in the first five seasons of this league. We have a long way to go and need to be patient to take this revolution forward.”

Jaipur Pink Panthers owner Abhishek Bachchan pointed out that the viewership goals were surpassed over 10 times till the past season and so have auction rates. “Last season we thought Rs 70 lakh will be the highest bid but it went till Rs 93 lakh. This season there will be 2-3 players crossing the Rs 1 crore mark.”

Fazel Atrachali the costliest player bought for Rs 1 crore said, “I’m happy to be back in my second home UMumba after two seasons.”

On day one six players crossed the Rs 1 crore mark out of which five are Indian domestic player.

The bigs buys of day one from the domestic list is lead by Monu Goyat who was bought by Haryana Steelers for Rs 1.51 crore. The franchise has put Kabaddi in the rich and elite professional sports league with Rs 1.51 crore for the 26-year-old.

Rahul Chaudhari is retained by using Final Bid Match (FBM) by Telugu Titans at Rs 1.29 crore. Deepak Nivas Hooda is the third player in the crorepati list with Rs 1.15 crore to Jaipur Pink Panthers. Nitin Tomar previous years highest earner was sold for Rs 1.15 crore to Puneri Paltans followed by Rishank Devadiga for Rs 1.11 crore to UP Yoddhas.

The first player auctioned for season six was Irani defender Abozar Mohajermighani who was sold to Telugu Titans for Rs 76 lakh and the second was Atrachali.

USports co-founder Ronnie Screwvala also thinks that three to four players will cross the Rs 1 crore mark. UMumba has not retained a single player from its previous squad.

PKL league commissioner Anupam Goswami said, “It has been a historic day for VIVO Pro Kabaddi and it’s wonderful to see so many talented players who are under the radar, make such a difference to franchisee decisions at VIVO Pro Kabaddi S6 auctions. Kabaddi has proven to be a viable career option for emerging talent and with 6 players crossing the Rs 1 crore mark, it is a defining moment in VIVO Pro Kabaddi history, setting a benchmark for inspiring youngsters who look to make a difference in the game.”

UMumba CEO Supratik Sen told Indiantelevision.com that they are going to focus on Defender and Raiders after the day 2 lunch. Staying true to what Supratik said, UMumba bought some C category raiders at a higher price. Siddharth Desai went for Rs 36.4 Lakh and Abhishek Singh at Rs 42.8 Lakh to name a few.

Monu Goyat commentating on being the highest bid player said “I am extremely happy to be the highest paid player this season, there is a huge responsibility to deliver and I am glad to receive this opportunity. I will now focus on increasing the standard of my game and playing the best, I can.

Rahul Chaudhari speaking on being retained with Telugu Titans said “I am very happy that my team has retained me and I am glad to be back to Telugu Titans. Every year the league witnesses’ massive jumps along with a tremendous growth in fan following and I am extremely happy to be a part of the Pro Kabaddi family. I have started my training and am looking forward to this season. It is a growing period for kabaddi and I think by the time the younger generation will step into the auctions, the bid may start at 6-7 crores. Kabaddi is only going to grow and I urge parents to send their children to play kabaddi.”

Speaking on the anticipated outcome of the auctions, Patna Pirates owner Rajesh Shah said, “Being three-time champions we are looking forward to building a team that will retain the trophy again this year. We are looking at players who will complement the four retained players and bring in their strengths to build a strong winning team this season. I am very proud to be associated with Patna Pirates and am ecstatic that they won. But most importantly I am happy to be a part of this club of 12 teams owned and managed by people I know and respect. It’s a unique opportunity to be part of this group not only promoting Kabaddi but a great sense of competition in the game as well.

Also Read :

VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 gives fans the power to choose their players

PKL franchises retain 21 elite players for season 6

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