The Dubki King will play for UP Yoddha in the upcoming season.

Pro Kabaddi Season (PKL) season 8 auction had its own share of twists and turns with pomp, grandeur, and nail-biting moments. Pardeep Narwal ensured he stuck to his epithet and smashed an all-time record by becoming the highest ever bought kabaddi player in the history of the league.

PKL’s continuous growth was yet again highlighted as UP Yoddha broke the bank to secure the services of the talismanic raider for a whopping sum of INR 1.65 crore. Pardeep Narwal, the highlight of the day, continues to re-write history books, with his price tag now quashing that of another star raider Monu Goyat, who was bought by Haryana Steelers for INR 1.51 crore in Season 6.

The Dubki King now finds himself a new home after spending 5 seasons with Patna Pirates.

Top 5 Indian Players in Pro Kabaddi League auction

  1. Pardeep Narwal – UP Yoddha (1.65 crores)
  2. Siddharth Desai- Telugu Titans (1.30 crores)
  3. Manjeet- Tamil Thalaivas (92 lakhs)
  4. Sachin- Patna Pirates (84 lakhs)
  5. Rohit Gulia- Haryana Steelers (83 lakhs)

Pro Kabaddi League continued to deliver crorepatis for the third season in a row as Siddharth ‘Baahubali’ Desai was retained by the Telugu Titans via the Final Bid Match (FBM) card for INR 1.30 crore from his base price of INR 30 lakhs. The results are a glowing testament to the efforts taken by Mashal Sports, in partnership with the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), to grow the league with every passing season.

Speaking on the growth of kabaddi internationally, Charu Sharma, Co-founder, Mashal Sports said, “Kabaddi is such an elementary game in terms of infrastructure required, that I have no doubt that once we get our act together, the explosion of kabaddi internationally is just waiting to happen. I hope it happens sooner than later. It would truly give the game international recognition – that’s the Olympics.”

Over 22 overseas players were sold on the second day. Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh, an all-rounder belonging to Category C, lay at the base price of INR 10 lakhs and was sold to Patna Pirates at a price of INR 31 lakhs. Bengal Warriors snatched up Abozar Mohajermighani, a Category B defender, bidding for him at INR 30.5 lakhs from the base price of INR  20 lakhs. Interestingly, Patna Pirates used their FBM card to retain South Korean raider Jang Kun Lee at INR 20.5 lakhs.

Top 5 Foreign Players in Pro Kabaddi League auction

  1. Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh –  Patna Pirates (31 Lakhs)
  2. Abozar Mohajermighani –  Patna Pirates (31 Lakhs)
  3. Jang Kun Lee –  Patna Pirates (20.5 lakhs)
  4. Hadi Oshtorak –  Gujarat Giants (20 Lakhs)
  5. Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsodlou –  Haryana Steelers (13.2 lakhs)

After 6 seasons with the Telugu Titans and one season with Tamil Thalaivas in the Pro Kabaddi League, ‘The Showman’ Rahul Chaudhari finds himself a new home with the Puneri Paltans for Season 8. Jaipur Pink Panthers used both the FBM cards to their advantage, retaining captain Deepak Niwas Hooda and Sandeep Kumar Dhull. Tamil Thalaivas bid for raider Manjeet from his base price of INR 30 lakhs and bought him in for an astounding INR 92 lakhs.

Speaking about laying emphasis on grassroots to increase the popularity of kabaddi, Pranav Adani, Team Owner, Gujarat Giants, said, “We have done a lot at the grassroots level. If you go down to the primary and secondary schools in Gujarat, you’ll notice that kabaddi has now become a part of their sport.”

“It is revived again in all these schools and that itself is a litmus test. And more than that, very soon we will witness players coming out from Gujarat in the league. As a group, we are very focused to bring sporting personalities and sportsmen coming out from grassroots levels. We have done that for other sports as well, including the Olympics. So, our initiative is going to make sure that the programs at the grassroots level will push kabaddi.”

Meanwhile, in another highlight of the auctions, Rohit Gulia, the all-rounder from Category A, grabbed eyeballs after he was sold to Haryana Steelers for INR 83 lakhs, a significant jump from his INR 25-lakh price tag with Gujarat Giants in Season 7. Rohit created history, commanding the highest-ever auction price for a Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) athlete.

Speaking about the ongoing comparison between Pardeep Narwal and Lionel Messi, Abhishek Bachchan, Team Owner, Jaipur Pink Panthers, said, “Messi is a great footballer and I have nothing but respect for him. He’s one of the greatest of all time and I think the only comparison between Lionel Messi and Pardeep Narwal is they’re possibly both some of the greatest that ever played the game and that’s where it starts and ends. I think the sport of kabaddi has its own unique identity. I really think that Pardeep has his own identity and he’s the Pardeep Narwal of Kabaddi. He shouldn’t be compared to any sportsman. I know we like comparisons but with all due respect to Mr. Messi and his talent and gift, I think Pardeep is as talented, as gifted and he’s the Pardeep Narwal of Kabaddi and that’s where it should stand, and it means a lot in just itself.”

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