The recently concluded vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 auction brought with it a number of exciting developments. Along with the excitement around new squads being built, there were also moments of exhilaration as a result of the battle of the batons.

If it was Pardeep Narwal who was the toast of the auction on Day 2 as the most expensive player ever sold, Arjun Deshwal roused enthusiasm on Day 3 by claiming a price tag of 96 Lakh. Here is a look at everything that transpired during the three days of the PKL auction.

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Pardeep Narwal breaks yet another record

It was another-day-another-record for Pardeep Narwal as he became the most expensive player to be bought in a vivo Pro Kabaddi auction. The Record Breaker’s Base Price of 30 lakh was immediately taken over a crore within the first couple of bids and he eventually went to U.P. Yoddha for 1.65 Crore. Narwal will be seen with another franchise for the first time since his entry in Patna Pirates in Season 3.

The only other player to surpass the 1 Crore mark was Baahubali, Siddharth Desai. He was also set to join U.P. Yoddha but Telugu Titans swooped in with their Final Bid Match (FBM) card to retain the raider. It was one of 10 FBM cards used throughout the auction. U.P. Yoddha’s Shrikant Jadhav was the next most expensive player it was used for at 74 Lakh.

The Rahul Chaudhari and Ajay Thakur partnership seen at Tamil Thalaivas in Season 7 also came apart and Chaudhari was bought by Puneri Paltan and Thakur went to Dabang Delhi K.C. Along with Thakur, Dabang Delhi K.C. also bought Manjeet Chhillar, Joginder Narwal, Jeeva Kumar, and all-rounder Sandeep Narwal to bolster the team with experience. On the way, Narwal became the second-most expensive all-rounder at 60 Lakh.

Among the Category A all-rounders, it was young Rohit Gulia who generated the most interest before finally being picked up by Haryana Steelers for a price of 83 Lakh. Gulia was a regular feature with Gujarat Giants so far and even led the side for the latter part of Season 7. He became the most expensive player from Mashal Sports’ Future Kabaddi Heroes grassroots programme to be bought at the auction.

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Overseas Players add international flavour

The overseas player auction was also an interesting one as Patna Pirates decided to use their Final Bid Match card for Jang Kun Lee who is the highest-scoring overseas player in the league. He was the only overseas player the card got used for as Fazel Atrachali and Mohammad Nabibakhsh were retained by their respective team ahead of the auction.

Interest in Iranian players remained high as Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh became the most expensive overseas player of the auction at 31 Lakh, followed by Corner Abozar Mohajer Mighani. This will be Chiyaneh’s maiden PKL stint and Patna Pirates will have high hopes from the all-rounder.

Japan will also be represented this season in the form of Telugu Titans’ defender Abe Tetsuro.


Surprise Package Arjun Deshwal Starts Bidding War

Arjun Deshwal was the talk of the town among the Category B players. Jaipur Pink Panthers broke the bank to secure the services of the former U Mumba raider for an astounding price tag of 96 Lakh. Deshwal came into his own in Season 7 scoring 106 points from 19 matches including a highest single-match tally of 15 points.

Nitin Tomar was another big buy in Category B. Puneri Paltan used their FBM card to secure the services of the raider for 61 Lakh. He was the team’s most expensive purchase in the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 auction as well as the most expensive Category B player to be sold.

Manjeet was another youngster who franchises got behind. Tamil Thalaivas picked up the raider for 92 lakh as their focus remained on backing young talent this season. Cover Surjeet Singh was their other expensive buy at 75 Lakh making him the most expensive defender to be sold in the season 8 auction.

Sukesh Hegde was the other Category B raider who got picked up using an FBM card. He returned to Bengal Warriors with whom he had won the Season 7 Pro Kabaddi trophy.


Sandeep Kandola’s Return Highlights Category C

Telugu Titans went big to get Corner Sandeep Kandola back into their fold. Kandola will be returning to the league after an impressive display in Season 2 where he scored 70 points from 16 matches including a 10-point haul in a single match. He was the biggest buy among Category C players at 59.5 Lakh.

The other two Category C players who got a lot of interest were all-rounder Brijendra Singh Chaudhary and Corner Sombir. Chaudhary came in a close second at 55 Lakh (Haryana Steelers) and Sombir reached 34.5 Lakh (Puneri Paltan).

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New Young Players All Set to Bring the Excitement

A total of 10 new players from the NYP (New Young Player) category were picked up by the teams during the auction. Among the drafted players were Mohit Goyat who went to Puneri Paltan, Prince who went to Telugu Titans, Nitin Panwar who went to U.P. Yoddha, and Govind Gurjar who was bought by Puneri Paltan.

These uncapped NYPs were among those who featured in the auction from Mashal Sports’ Future Kabaddi Heroes programme that serves to unearth hidden talent among kabaddi players between the ages of 18 and 25.