Kabaddi fans will get to enjoy entertaining players once again when the new season kicks in.

The auction for the eighth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) took place recently. This was an opportunity for the various franchises to strengthen their respective squads and to reinforce their set-ups. While many players found new buyers, there were several individuals who did not receive bids in their favour. However, the introduction of a new rule has given them another chance. Thanks to the rule, teams now have a golden opportunity to bring in these players to their respective rosters.

The new rule is known as the “Corona contingency players’ rule”.

What is the Corona contingency players’ rule?

All teams are allowed to bring in two extra players each in the upcoming season of the PKL. These players will be an extension of the main team and will be called the ‘Corona contingency team’. They will take part in their respective team’s practice camps, but will only get a chance to play if and when a player of the main team contracts coronavirus and becomes unavailable. 

These players will be kept as reserves and will join the PKL if any first-team member tests positive for COVID-19. The contingency players will get all the amenities that regular players of their team get. All franchises will only get to pick such players from the ‘unsold’ section.

Some teams have already utilized the rule and have made their moves. Another advantage to this rule is that the players that did not get sold due to a high base price will now be available for a lower price. The price for the corona contingency players has been set at ₹4 Lakhs. Moreover, the teams can spend this amount in addition to their budget of ₹4.4 crores.

More notably, the rule is not mandatory for any team, they can use it if it suits their requirements. 

Some franchises have already made use of this rule

Bengal Warriors have used the Corona contingency players’ rule to recruit Vishal Mane and Ran Singh into their squad. Vishal Mane confirmed this in a recent interview with Shivneri Seva Mandal. An advantage for the Warriors is that both of these players are in “B category” and their base price was ₹20 Lakhs each. If one considers only the base price for both players, buying them would have costed the Warriors ₹40 Lakhs – but now they’ve been roped in for only ₹8 Lakhs.

Patna Pirates have brought in right corner defender Manuj Bura using the rule. He performed well while playing for Choudhury Chajuram in the K7 kabaddi tournament. Haryana Steelers have also used the rule, to sign right cover defender Sudhakar Kadam. He played extremely well for Maharashtra in the senior nationals recently. 

Some stipulations of the new rule

  1. The players unsold in the PKL auction will only be eligible to be included as the Corona contingency players.
  2. Their price tag is set at ₹4 Lakhs each.
  3. A team can only include two players using the Corona contingency players’ rule.
  4. These players will get an opportunity to play only when a player in the main squad tests positive for COVID-19.

Gradually, other teams in the competition will utilize the advantages provided by this rule. Additionally, there will also be some outfits that will not use it, as their rosters are already complete.

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