Pardeep Narwal has been released by Patna Pirates in a shock move.
The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) will return with season 8 after a gap of almost two years. But before that, the grand auction event will take place from August 29 to 31.
Before going into the auction, the PKL teams are also expected to exercise their choice of retention of squads from the previous season as per the league policies. For each Pro Kabaddi League season, teams are allowed to retain up to six players under the Elite Retained Players category and up to six New Young Players (NYPs) under stipulated conditions.
Here is the list of players the PKL franchises have retained ahead of the season 8 auctions.
Pardeep Narwal will be under the hammer as Patna Pirates pull off the most eye-catching move before the Pro Kabaddi League auctions. In what was the most surprising move, Patna Pirates have decided not to retain the services of their talismanic raider who led them to three straight Pro Kabaddi League titles.
The Pirates have opted to retain defender Neeraj Kumar and raider Monu along with young players Sahil Mann, Mohit and Rajveersinh Chavan in a bid to overhaul the foundations of the organization.
Pardeep joins a star-studded auction pool, which also includes the veteran trio of the Tamil Thalaivas. Rahul Chaudhari, Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chhillar have been released with the Chennai-based side opting to retain only Sagar, Himanshu and Abishek under the category of young players.
Siddarth Sirish Desai will also likely be playing for new colours after the Telugu Titans decided not to retain him. Rakesh Gowda, Ankit Beniwal and Rjnish will continue donning the Titan colours.
U Mumba meanwhile has retained their star defender and Iran captain Fazel Atrachali ahead of the Pro Kabaddi League season 8 auctions. They also kept their chief raider Abhishek Singh. They let go of Sandeep Narwal, Arjun Deshwal and Surinder Singh while Ajinkya Kapre and Harendra Kumar will continue.
Defending Pro Kabaddi League Champions Bengal Warriors also trusted their core performers retaining Maninder Singh and Rinku Narwal as well as foreigner Esmaeil Nabibakhsh. K Prapanajan and star defender Baldev Singh move to the auction pool.
Pawan Sherawat will continue with the Bulls and so will Amit Sheoran. The Bulls have also retained Saurabh Nandal, Banty and Mohit Sehrawat.
Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 MVP Naveen Kumar will stay with Dabang Delhi and will be joined by his teammates Vijay and Neeraj Narwal. The franchise have retained Sumit, Mohit and Balram as Existing New Young Players. They also did not retain Iranian Meraj Sheykh.
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Jaipur Pink Panthers have retained the most players ahead of the Pro Kabaddi League season 8 with Amit Hooda, Vishal and Nitin Rawal comprising the seven retained players. The Rajasthan-based franchise have also kept four existing new young players- Sachin Narwal, Pavan TR, Sushil Gulia and Elvarasan A- while letting captain and star raider Deepak Hooda go in their bid to win their second Pro Kabaddi League title.
Puneri Paltan have retained Hadi Tajik. He will be only the third foreigner that franchises have retained this time, along with Nabibakhsh and Atrachali. The Paltans have also kept the services of Balasaheb Jadhav and Pawan Kumar Kadian. This in a bid to make a proper push for the title. Puneri Paltan Captain Surjeet Singh finds himself in the auction pool.
Steelers have parted ways with their captain as well with Dharmaraj Cheralathan going under the hammer. Vikash Kandola was their only elite player that they retained. the Haryana team have also kept the services of youngsters Vinay, Vikas Chillar and Chand Singh.
Former Pro Kabaddi League title winners Rishank Devadiga and Monu Goyat find themselves in the auction pool along with UP Yodha’s raider-in-chief Shrikant Jadhav as well as key player Surender Singh. The expansion side has retained no elite players, with only Nitesh Kumar, Sumit, Ashu Singh and Surinder Gill accounted for.
Gujarat Fortunegiants will be one of five sides searching for new captains as Rohit Gulia leaves the side. However, the side has retained Parvesh Bhainswal and Sunil Kumar, both of whom are key defenders. They have retained Harmajeet Singh, Sumit and Ankit as Existing New Young Players.
An exciting auction will likely serve as a brilliant curtain raiser to a season 8, that has lots of expectations riding on it. With several big names likely to change colours, it will be an interesting spectacle waiting to unfold.