The first day of the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 Player Auction witnessed plenty of fierce bidding and some surprises.
The intense bidding for raider Pawan Sehrawat was the biggest highlight of the evening as he became the most expensive player in vivo Pro Kabaddi history courtesy of an INR 2.26 crore bid for him from Tamil Thalaivas.
Haryana Steelers began bidding at the INR 1 crore mark to get Pawan Sehrawat, while Tamil Thalaivas entered the bidding for him at the INR 1.50 crore mark before eventually getting their man with a massive bid of INR 2.26 crore after also seeing off competition from U Mumba.
Former Haryana Steelers raider Vikash Kandola drew the next biggest bid of the evening after Bengaluru Bulls roped him in to their team with a bid of INR 1.70 crore.
In what came as a surprise to many, highly talented 23-year-old raider Guman Singh was bought by U Mumba for INR 1.22 crore.
Pardeep Narwal was the fourth most expensive raider on day 1 of the Player Auction as he returned to the UP Yoddhas for INR 90 lac. Gujarat Giants may have momentarily thought they had got Pardeep Narwal but UP Yoddhas used their Final Bid Match (FBM) card to sign the former Patna Pirates talisman.
Patna Pirates also used their FBM card to get back a former player in Sachin. Just when it looked like Gujarat Giants had successfully bid for Sachin, Patna Pirates swooped in with their FBM card to prise the raider away for INR 81 lac.
Raider Manjeet also hit the INR 80 lac mark thanks to a successful bid by Haryana Steelers. A couple more Indian raiders who garnered big bids were Abhishek Singh and Ajith V Kumar. While Abhishek Singh went to Telugu Titans for INR 60 lac, Ajith V Kumar joined Jaipur Pink Panthers for INR 66 lac.
As far as defenders go, one of the first players to go under the hammer, Fazel Atrachali broke his own record for being the most expensive foreign signing in PKL history after Puneri Paltan bid a whopping INR 1.38 crore to secure his services. The Iranian defender had attracted a bid of INR 1 crore from U Mumba in Season 6.
Fellow Iranian Mohammad Nabibakhsh was also highly sought after and the all-rounder was eventually snapped up by Puneri Paltan for INR 87 lac.
Another prominent all-rounder Deepak Niwas Hooda joined Season 7 champions Bengal Warriors, while Rohit Gulia will be donning Patna Pirates’ colours in the upcoming campaign after the three-time champions successfully bid INR 30 lac for him. Nitin Rawal, meanwhile, was bought by Haryana Steelers for INR 37.50 lac.
The most expensive Indian defender to emerge from the Player Auction was Sunil Kumar. The talented defender will join Jaipur Pink Panthers after the Season 1 champions secured his signature for INR 90 lac.
Among the rest of the top Indian defenders, Parvesh Bhainswal, who represented Gujarat Giants in the past, will be seen in Telugu Titans’ colours in Season 9 after they bid INR 62 lac for him. Telugu Titans also acquired defender Surjeet Singh’s services for INR 50 lac.
Sandeep Dhull is another Indian defender who will be playing for a new team this season after Dabang Delhi K.C. spent INR 40 lac to get him.
Some players who went surprisingly unsold at the Player Auction include the likes of Sandeep Narwal, Sukesh Hegde and Ran Singh, all of whom couldn’t find any buyers.
Overseas players like Mohsen Maghsoudlou Jafari and Abozar Mighani went unsold, while Hadi Oshtorak also got no bidders in the vivo Pro Kabaddi Player Auction.
With day 1 of the Player Auction now done and a lot of slots still to be filled by teams, the final day promises to be just as exciting with more intense bidding wars as all the franchises look to add the finishing touches to their squads for Season 9.
Most expensive raiders of Day 1:
Pawan Sehrawat - Tamil Thalaivas
Vikash Kandola - Bengaluru Bulls
Guman Singh - U Mumba
Most expensive defenders of Day 1:
Fazel Atrachali - Puneri Paltan
Sunil Kumar - Jaipur Pink Panthers
Parvesh Bhainswal - Telugu Titans
Most expensive all-rounders of Day 1:
Mohammad Nabibakhsh - Puneri Paltan
Deepak Hooda - Bengal Warriors
Nitin Rawal - Haryana Steelers