Mumbai: The second-best raider of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 5, Monu Goyat, became the top grosser with Haryana Steelers snapping him for the mind-boggling sum of Rs 1.51 crore, in the Season 6 Players’ Auction in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Under the leadership of Pardeep Narwal, Monu, who earned 159 raid points, played a crucial role in achieving hat-trick of titles for Patna Pirates.
“Monu was very much part of our plans even before coming to auction. He is a player with great kabaddi skills and we are happy to get him in our team,” said Mustafa Ghouse of Jindal Steel-owned Haryana Steelers.
Dabang Delhi KC was unlucky twice as they lost the player in ‘Final bid match card’ (FBM). First, it was Rahul Chaudhari who was sealed by Telugu Titans after Delhi had bid Rs 1.29 Cr. And, on the second occasion, Delhi bid Rs 1.11 cr for Rishank Devadiga, but his former team UP Yoddha played FBM card to get him back.
The Season 2 champions gave Iranian flavour to their den by bringing in Abolfazl Maghsodloumahali, Hadi Tajik and Fazel Atrachali in their squad.
“We wanted to be strong in defence. We had an extremely strong defence in Season 1 and Season 2 and that was part of the reason why we bargained for Fazal so fiercely,” said Ronnie Screwvala, U Mumba team owner.
“Fazal is someone who has played with us and we are quite happy to have him back. We wanted to be sure that we got who we wanted rather than going right until the end and then have to hastily pick a player. You need a minimum of 2 international players, instead we picked 3,” added Screwvala.
U Mumba has also brought in the service of ex-Iranian coach, Golan Raza who will be in charge of the team for Season 6.
“I am happy to return to my second home U Mumba. I am so much happy with my contract. I have great respect for U Mumba since it was my first Pro Kabaddi League team,” said Atrachali.
New Young guns
Out of the 12 franchisees, Patna Pirates, Bengaluru Bulls were the two teams who did not spend a single rupee on a player from ‘New Young Players Category’.
Gujarat Fourtunegiants and Telugu Titans grabbed three players each while UP Yoddha and U Mumba purchased two players each. Dabbang Delhi, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Haryana Steelers, Puneri Paltan, Tamil Thalaivas and Bengal Warriors grabbed one player each.
Anup goes cheaply
Former India captain Anup Kumar suffered a fall from grace as he commanded a mere Rs 30 lakh. Anup, who led India to a record third World Cup title in 2016, will represent the Jaipur Pink Panthers this season.
He had commanded a price of Rs 56.65 lakh last season, while being retained for the fifth consecutive time by the U Mumba franchise.
Anup, who made his international debut at the 2010 Asian Games, won the title the same year and retained it in 2014.
Nitin Tomar speaks
“I had never expected that I will get such a big amount. I was thinking that I will get bid of Rs 93 to 95 lakhs,” Tomar told Sakal Times in a telephonic conversation.
“I am happy to be back in Pune team, I was part of Pune team in Season 4. At that time I was injured so I could not contribute much. I am happy that team has shown trust in me,” Tomar said.
“We have a very good team, Rajesh Mondal, Sandeep Narwal, Girish Ernak all are very talented players. It will be a great feeling to play with them,” added Tomar.
Puneri Paltan on Day 1 auctions
- Pune franchise was the slow starter as they hardly went for any players in the first half of the day.
- Pune was expected to get back former captain Deepak Hooda in FBM card, but instead they opted for raider Nitin Tomar with the purse of Rs 1.11 crore.
- Puneri Paltan spent Rs 6.6 lakh on the youngster Amit Kumar who hails from Haryana in the ‘New Young Players Category’. Amit is an all-rounder and represented Haryana in junior nationals in 2017. Amit is well known for his hand touch and blocking skills.
Players bought by Pune on Day 1:
- Nitin Tomar, Taka Mitsukonu, Sanjay Shreshta.
- Retained young players: Vikas Khatri, Monu, Rinku Narwal.
Top bids of the day
- Monu Goyat: Rs 1.51 cr Haryana Steelers
- Rahul Choudhari: Rs 1.29 cr Telugu Titans
- Rishank Devadiga: Rs 1.11 cr UP Yoddha
- Deepak Hooda: Rs 1.15 cr Jaipur Pink Panthers
- Nitin Tomar: Rs 1.15 cr Puneri Paltan
- Fazel Atrachali: Rs 1 cr U Mumba