The youngster was hot property in the auction on Friday night.

Starting from a base price of ₹20 Lakhs, Guman Singh was the subject of interest from many parties but U Mumba had enough savings in their purse to nab the former Patna star for ₹1.22 crores.

There was plenty of swagger on display whenever Guman Singh stepped out to raid. Often thrown into the wolves on do-or-die raids, Guman was one of the standouts of Season 8 with his daring escapes and good mat awareness. He thrived in do-or-die raids for a well-oiled Patna unit, which used a two-pronged raider attack of Sachin and Guman in tandem to revive each other.

Focus on youngsters

PKL teams are investing big in youngsters and Guman Singh rode that wave on the back of some crucial performances in big pressure situations. In Season 8, Guman mustered 95 points in 19 matches. While Siddharth Desai, Nitin Tomar, and Monu Goyat made only a fraction of what they managed to pouch in previous auctions, this clear change in mentality indicates that the Pro Kabaddi League always has a keen eye for future stars who come in with a high ceiling.

The 23-year-old will have a huge weight on his shoulders as U Mumba’s signing of intent. He will have to replace Abhishek Singh, with huge shoes to fill for the lanky youngster. The way Guman ended Season 8, with hauls of 9, 8, 4, 4, and 13 shows that on his night, he can be unmatched but even when things are not going his way, he can be a reliable point scorer.

U Mumba did miss out on their marquee target Pawan Sehrawat, but plan B was clearly to bank on returns from future stars such as Guman and Ashish. It is a high-risk – high-reward strategy, coincidentally a similar path to Mumbai Indians. Only time will tell if this approach pays off for the Season 2 winners, who have recently announced the appointment of Anil Chaprana as their head coach.

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