Teams will be looking to splash the cash on these stars.
The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) 8 auction is set to take place from August 29-31, as the league makes its return to action after two years. More than 500 players will go under the hammer and the franchises will be looking to strenghten their lineups.
The news about the release and retention of players for the upcoming season was met with tons of surprise, angst and inquisitiveness. Several high-profile players find themselves going under the hammer, while several other key players have been retained.
We take a look at the top 10 players up for grabs in the coming Pro Kabaddi League 8 auction:
10. Rohit Kumar
Rohit Kumar established himself as a star performer in his debut season itself with Patna Pirates as he scored 109 points and was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of Season 3. In Season 5, he picked up 32 points in a single match against U.P. Yoddha to cement his name among the best in the league.
Over the years, he has also proved his leadership ability and capacity to remain calm under pressure and Season 6 saw him lead Bengaluru Bulls to the Pro Kabaddi League crown. However, after being released by the Bengaluru outfit, several teams will be eyeing Kumar as an option in the upcoming auction.
9. Shrikant Jadhav
Shrikant Jadhav’s release might have caught many off guard. The raider was UP Yodha’s highest scorer in 2019, scoring 152 points in just 22 matches. His do-or-die success rate makes him a very valuable prospect to hold and teams in need for valuable support for their raider could see the utility in bringing the former U Mumba man into their ranks at the Pro Kabaddi League 8 auction.
8. Rohit Gulia
The captain of Gujarat Fortunegiants, was their leading scorer in Season 7, notching 142 points in 22 matches. The second leading scorer amongst all-rounders, Gulia was an integral piece of the Gujarat Fortunegiants’ squad since the beginning of his PKL career.
He has amassed a total of 241 points in his PKL career for the Gujarat-based side and will be one of the most sought-after players at the Pro Kabaddi League 8 auction.
7. Baldev Singh
A title winning defender, Baldev Singh finds himself on the auction floor. Bengal Warriors have decided to part ways with their top scoring defender from Season 7. Baldev was one of the many players who stepped up after Maninder Singh was sidelined with an injury, eventually leading the Kolkata-based franchise to their first-ever title.
Baldev Singh scored 66 tackle points and played in all matches for the Warriors. He will be a highly sought-after player at the Pro Kabaddi League 8 auction, especially since he comes with title-winning experience.
6. Sandeep Dhull
The Jaipur Pink Panthers’ attempt to reshape the foundation could have made a crucial oversight. The release of Sandeep Kumar Dhull not only allows an extremely talented player out of the squad, but also enables an opposition side to gain the advantage of nabbing him at the Pro Kabaddi league 8 auction.
Sandeep Dhull scored 73 tackle points in just 22 matches. The 25-year-old is in the prime of his career and has amassed 140 tackle points in the two seasons he played in the PKL
5. Rahul Chaudhari
After playing for only one team for six seasons, Indian star and former PKL MVP Rahul Chaudhari will find himself representing a third team in three seasons. Chaudhari, who was the face of the Telugu Titans for six seasons was bought by Tamil Thalaivas for Season 7.
He scored 138 points for them, but now finds himself going under the hammer. The veteran brings loads of experience, having played in the PKL and could be a valuable support piece to hold together a young core of high potential players.
4. Surjeet Singh
One of the top defenders in PKL Season 7, Surjeet Singh finds himself looking for a new team. The Puneri Paltan captain was their top scoring tackler, notching 63 tackle points in just 21 matches.
No other Paltan player got more than 40 in the duration of the campaign. A sturdy and solid cover defender, Surjeet Singh could be a key piece for teams looking to improve the leadership and efficiency of the defence.
3. Deepak Niwas Hooda
The PKL veteran finds himself under the hammer after spending three years with the Jaipur Pink Panthers. Deepak Hooda, known for his performances in clutch do-or-die raid situations, started his career from Season 1 when he played for Telugu Titans.
He moved to Puneri Paltan in Season 3. However, his true potential came to the forefront in Season 6, when he scored 208 points for Jaipur Pink Panthers, in his first season for the team. He scored 158 points in Season 7, including 25 do-or-die raid points.
2. Siddarth Sirish Desai
Another surprise inclusion in the auction pool is former Telugu Titans player Siddarth Desai. The star raider has been in the top five in terms of points scored in the last two seasons and is breaking more records.
He became the fastest player to reach 50 points in the PKL, doing so in just four matches. He will be a much sought-after commodity in the Pro Kabaddi League 8 auction, especially after scoring 441 points in just two seasons for U Mumba and Telugu Titans.
1. Pardeep Narwal
There is no doubt regarding the biggest player up for grabs at the Pro Kabaddi League 8 auction. The star raider of the Patna Pirates has had an amazing run ever since Season 3. He led the Bihar-based franchise to a mind-blowing three straight titles.
The 24-year-old star raider has amassed a total of 1169 points in his PKL career. He also became the first player to reach 1000 points in the tournament. He was also crowned the League MVP in both Season 4 and 5. Now, he will be donning a different jersey from the next edition.