The recently concluded two-day PKL players’ auction event in 2023 yielded some interesting data and figures. With a total of 118 players in the fray to be cherry-picked by 12 PKL (Pro-Kabaddi League) franchises in Mumbai, the event recorded the highest bidding amount for a Kabaddi player this season!
Bidding moments were intense and heart-pounding because a slight miscalculation could mean a franchise losing out on retaining or selecting a star player. The star-studded event witnessed moments of anguish, thrill, suspense, joy, and more.
We, at The Sports Mania, will relive those moments and guide you through the bidding wars for PKL 10, disclosing the top 6 PKL players who managed to secure the highest bidding amounts.
Most Expensive players in PKL 10
#6) Ashu Malik (96.25 lakh) – Dabang Delhi
Dabang Delhi retained Ashu Malik through FBM. The bidding war wasn’t easy, with both Tamil Thalaivas and Bengaluru Bulls vying for the star all-rounder. However, Dabang Delhi utilized the FBM card to reacquire Ashu Malik for a substantial Rs. 96.25 lakh. With an impressive average strike rate above 53.33, Delhi made a smart choice.
#5) Siddharth Desai (1 crore) – Haryana Steelers
Siddharth Desai, one of the fiercest raiders on the field, was picked by Haryana Steelers at this year’s PKL 10 auction event for a whopping 1 crore INR, making him one of the most expensive players in PKL history.
Siddharth is an experienced raider and knows how to turn the tables of the match at any moment when he is on his way. The record smasher had an illustrious PKL 6, scoring 218 raid points in just 21 matches. He also holds the record for accomplishing 50 raid points in the least number of matches, achieving this feat in just four matches.
Siddharth bagged the Best Debutant award in 2018 for his outstanding performance throughout PKL 6. He has represented various PKL franchises, including U Mumba and Telugu Titans. But from now on, he will represent the Haryana Steelers. Not too long ago, Telugu Titans bought Siddharth for Rs. 1.45 crore during PKL season 7. Thus, this is the second time the 31-year-old has successfully made it to the Crorepati club!
#4) Fazel Atrachali (1.60 crore) – Gujarat Giants
Gujarat Giants appeared determined to acquire Fazel Atrachali during the PKL 10 auction round. The star defender was picked for a whopping 1.6 crore INR, making him the third most expensive PKL player this season. Starting with a base price of Rs. 30 lakh, Telugu Titans, Dabang Delhi, and Gujarat Giants showed enormous interest in selecting him for their franchise. For the uninitiated, Fazel made his PKL debut in 2015. Since then, he has never looked back.
Last year, Fazel represented Puneri Paltan and received over Rs. 1.38 crore as his bidding amount. Currently, Fazel is counted among the top defenders in PKL. He has accumulated over 424 tackle points, making him the undisputed tackling defender in PKL history. The Iranian athlete won the PKL’s best defender honour in both PKL Season 4 and PKL Season 7, respectively. He has also been a PKL champion while representing Patna Pirates and made his way all the way to the final, only to lose against Jaipur Pink Panthers in the finals last year.
Gujarat, who had a mediocre season last time, will be looking to bestow the captaincy duties on Fazel and hope for him to guide them.
#3) Maninder Singh (2.12 crore) – Bengal Warriors
Maninder Singh, the captain of the Bengal Warriors, was one of the most anticipated picks in this year’s PKL 10 auction. Although his bidding price was set at Rs. 30 lakh, several franchises expressed their interest in him from the very start. Patna Pirates, Telugu Titans, and Bengaluru Bulls clarified their intentions early. Even Delhi Dabang tried to enter the bidding race for Maninder before Bengal Warriors stepped in.
Bidding for Maninder Singh was intense, with Patna Pirates placing the first bid of 30 lakhs. Telugu Titans and Bengaluru Bulls also made competitive bids for him. However, after a fiercely fought bidding contest against Dabang Delhi, Telugu Titans, and Bengaluru Bulls, Bengal Warriors emerged victorious. They signed Maninder Singh for a final bidding price of Rs. 2.12 crore.
Maninder’s exceptional leadership skills and raiding abilities make him a top choice for PKL franchises. He has consistently performed well throughout all PKL seasons, positioning himself at the 2nd spot in the all-time leaderboard with over 1230 raid points to his credit. Maninder is also a two-time PKL champion, winning the inaugural edition of PKL in 2014 while representing Jaipur Pink Panthers and also securing the championship title in PKL season 7 while playing for Bengal Warriors.
#2) Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh (2.35 crore) – Puneri Paltan
Mohammadreza Shadlu is everyone’s favourite. Iran’s star all-rounder is the second most expensive PKL player this year, just like he was during PKL 3. Puneri Paltan signed Mohammadreza Shadlu for a whopping amount of Rs. 2.35 crore.
Almost all the teams showed immense interest in picking him. Starting from a base price of 30 lakh, the bidding amount for Shadlu kept soaring as U Mumba, Bengal Warriors, UP Yoddhas, Gujarat Giants, and Puneri Paltan vied for him.
Despite fierce competition between Gujarat Giants and Puneri Paltan, the latter successfully secured him by outbidding others with a 2.35 crore bid. Meanwhile, the next highest bidder, Gujarat Giants, quoted Rs. 1 crore for him. The Iranian athlete has impressively managed 286 tackles with a success rate of over 55 per cent.
His recent exploits in the Asian Games and performances from the last seasons with Patna Pirates are not lost on anyone. Although ,Shadloui may be a defender on paper, he canaid in crunch times and procure invaluable points for his team.
#1) Pawan Sehrawat (2.605 crore) – Telugu Titans
Finally, this year’s PKL auction went to Pawan Sehrawat. The young man smashed several records while securing his spot with Telugu Titans. He was bought for a whopping 2,60,50,000, making him PKL 10’s most expensive pick. Starting from a base price of 20 lahks, Telugu Titans raised the bid to Rs. 1 crore to outmaneuver other franchises in the race. But the auction was not easy. Soon, Tamil Thalaivas, Haryana Steelers, and Bengaluru Bulls also joined the race, each trying to outpace the others’ bidding amounts. However, Telugu Titans finally made the deal at a staggering 2.605 crore.
Last time, Tamil Thalaivas bought Pawan for 2 crore 26 lakh INR. Thus, teams have consecutively hired Pawan, each paying over Rs. 2 crore, consistently remaining the highest-paid PKL athlete for two consecutive seasons. Pawan has represented PKL teams in over 105 matches, scoring 987 raid points and 1037 total points, respectively, to his credit. Pawan Sehrawat, who first featured in the third season of Pro Kabaddi League, has played a total of 105 matches since his debut for Bengaluru Bulls.
Once again, there are huge expectations from the most expensive player, Pawan Sehrawat, who helped Bengaluru Bulls cruise through PKL 6, scoring 282 points and winning PKL 6’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) title. This year’s PKL auction has concluded on an exciting note.
This year’s PKL auction has ended on an exciting note. With several star players in almost every team, you can expect some crucial, nail-biting finishes and close calls. However, the team that holds its nerves until the last minute will eventually win. Thus, more than strengths, PKL is all about mental fitness, decisiveness, and using counter-strategy to outwit opponents.