Kabbadi auction: Abozar costliest foreign buy, Nitin attracts highest bid

Iran’s Abozar Mohajermighani became the costliest foreign buy in this year’s Pro Kabaddi League players auction after he was bought by new franchise Gujarat for Rs. 50 lakh while India’s Nitin Tomar attracted the highest overall bid.

Besides Abozar, other foreign players who attracted good bids at last night’s auction were Iran’s Abolfazel Maghsodlo (Delhi, Rs. 31.8 lakh), Iran’s Farhad Rahimi Milaghardhan (Telugu Titans, Rs. 29 lakh), Thailand’s Khomsan Thongkham (Haryana, Rs. 20.4 lakh) and Iran’s Hadi Oshtorak (U Mumba, Rs. 18.6 lakh).

Nitin attracted the highest bid at this year’s auction by Team UP for an amount of Rs. 93 lakh against his base price of Rs. 20 lakh .

This is a whopping increase of 626 per cent compared to the bid price of Rs. 12.80 lakh for Rakesh Kumar, the costliest player in the opening season auctions.

Besides Nitin, other local players to have fetched impressive prices are Rohit Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls, Rs. 81 lakh), Manjeet Chhillar (Jaipur Pink Panthers, Rs. 75.5 lakh), Surjeet Singh (Bengal Warriors, Rs. 73 lakh) and Selvamani K (Jaipur Pink Panthers, Rs. 73 lakh).

The first day of the two-day auction netted a total price of Rs. 27.27 crore for 60 players selected.

Twelve franchises came together, in an intense bidding war, to piece together teams.

Retention of key players

For the elite retained players, the final salary was determined on the team’s highest spend on a player during the auction.

Each franchise was permitted to retain one elite player, either from the domestic or overseas categories, from their respective Season 4 squads.

Among them are Kabaddi stars Rahul Chaudhari (Telugu Titans), Anup Kumar (U Mumba), Jang Kun Lee (Bengal Warriors), Ashish Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls), Meraj Sheykh (Dabang Delhi K.C), Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates) and Deepak Hooda (Puneri Paltan). Jaipur Pink Panthers was the only existing franchise that did not retain any player from Season 4.

The new franchises were permitted one priority pick before the auction. Team Haryana had the opportunity to pick first and they went for Surender Nada, part of the Indian team that lifted the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Team Gujarat picked Fazel Atrachali of Iran whilst Team UP chose not to pick any priority player.

“This is a new chapter in the history of VIVO Pro Kabaddi, our largest ever player auction with an enormous auction purse and the biggest talent pool, from all over the country and the rest of the world. With new introductions, such as dynamic pricing, it was encouraging to see the teams strategising to constitute robust teams with a focus on lifting the coveted Season 5 trophy,” said Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, Pro Kabaddi League.

The auctions were preceded by a draft pick for new young players, scouted from across the country.

The first three to be selected were Rohit Gulia (19), Bhavani Rajput (22) and Mayur Shivtarkar (21).

The second day of the auction, will see players from India under categories A, B, C and D, as franchises begin to see their team take shape before the season begins on July 28 across 12 cities, with over 130 matches across 13 weeks.

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