Pro Kabaddi Season 4 auction nets a record Rs 15.6 crore
Pro Kabaddi, a premier league initiative by Mashal Sports and Star India, recently conducted a successful player auction for its forthcoming Season 4 in Mumbai. The auction netted a total price of Rs 15.614 crore for 96 players, from a list of 198 players available for the auction. The focus of all franchise owners was to competitively equip their respective teams for a brand new season of fierce skill and rivalry.
The highest bid for this year’s auction was Mohit Chhillar, who was bagged by Bengaluru Bulls for Rs 53 lakh, against the base price of Rs 12 lakh.
The top five players in the overseas category saw high interest from all franchisees. Fazel Atrachali from Iran went to Patna Pirates for Rs 38 lakh. South Korean star player Jang Kun Lee was retained by Bengal Warriors for Rs 22 lakh. Hadi Oshtorak, who was the highest bidded player from Season 2 by Telugu Titans, kept up his impressive run in Pro Kabaddi and was bagged by Patna Pirates for Rs 8 lakh. Iranian all-rounder Meraj Sheykh went to Dabang Delhi K.C. for Rs 19 lakh.
Nitin Kukreja, CEO, Star Sports, commented, “Over the last three years, Star India has led the way in showing that India is ready to be a multi-sport nation. A particularly successful example of this phenomenon is the growth of Kabaddi over the last 20+ months. With the aspirational narrative that the sport was given, each season of Pro Kabaddi has grown in stadia as well as on television, in rural as well as in urban audiences. The Season 4 auction unfolded a brand new chapter in Kabaddi with 198 players going under the hammer. And owners strategically dashing their way through to reconstitute teams with a good mix of Indian and International players. We are already seeing renewed and growing brand sponsorship support and Season 4 of Pro Kabbadi promises to be an even bigger opportunity to engage with the sport and its fans.”
The teams were armed with their respective strategy and aimed to find the perfect balance for Season 4. Franchises were given an option to retain two of their existing players. The key Indian players retained by franchises include Manjeet Chhillar and raider Deepak Niwas Hooda for Puneri Paltan. Captain of U Mumba, Anup Kumar, and Rishank Devadiga were retained by the team. Dabang Delhi K.C. kept hold of Kashiling Adake, who will be playing in his 4th season for the team along with young raider Selvamani K. Rahul Chaudhari and Sukesh Hegde will once again represent the Telugu Titans, while Jaipur Pink Panthers have retained Rajesh Narwal and Jasvir Singh. Bengal Warriors retained Nilesh Shinde and Girish Maruti Ernak. Bengaluru Bulls retained Pawan Kumar and Ashish Kumar. Winners of Season 3, Patna Pirates, retained Pardeep Narwal and Rajesh Mondal, leaving their winning captain in the auction pool.
Noteworthy was a brand new endeavour by the League to promote talent across the country. This season will see franchisees pick and host three young players who will be trained alongside with the squad. These players will be treated as potential talent in the age group of 18-22 and necessarily should have never played in a league before. They will have a franchisee commitment of two seasons.