It is time for Kabaddi to take the centre-stage once again as the Pro Kabaddi League(PKL) announced the auction dates for its sixth edition starting on 19 October this year.
The auction, scheduled to take place on 30 and 31 May 2018 in Mumbai, will have the 12 teams coming together to build their strongest teams. There are a total of 422 players drafted into the auction pool. This list includes 58 overseas players from 14 different countries like Iran, Bangladesh, Republic of Korea, Japan and Sri Lanka. There are 87 players from PKL's Future Kabaddi Heroes Programme (FKH), a nationwide talent scouting programme, who will also be a part of the auctions.
Even in the auctions for the fifth edition of PKL, 55 new young players from FKH were absorbed into the 12 franchises.
Though the two-day auction begins on 30 May, acquisition of players has started already as nine of the 12 franchises have picked 21 players as 'elite retained players'. Each franchise was allowed to retain upto four players. U Mumba, UP Yoddha and Jaipur Pink Panthers were the three franchises that decided to forego this opportunity.
Defending champions Patna Pirates and Puneri Paltan were the teams that used up all the four options. While Pirates retained captain Pardeep Narwal, Jaideep, Jawahar Dagar and Manish Kumar, the Pune team chose Sandeep Narwal, Rajesh Mondal, GB More and Girish Ernak as their elite retained players.
Among the newly added franchises in the fifth edition, Gujarat Fortunegiants retained Sachin, Mahendra Ganesh Rajput and Sunil Kumar. Tamil Thalaivas retained captain Ajay Thakur, Amit Hooda and C Arun in their ranks. Both Haryana Steelers and UP Yoddha are looking for a completely revamped team. While Haryana retained Kuldeep Singh, the UP Yoddha have returned all their players back into the pool.
Bengaluru Bulls and Dabang Delhi chose to keep only their star captains Rohit Kumar and Meraj Shaykh in the squad and opted to have their remaining picks from the auction.
While Bengal Warriors went with their captain Surjeet Singh and star raider Maninder Singh, Telugu Titans decided to let go of Rahul Chaudhari and retain Nilesh Salunke and Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari.
With each franchise having a total salary purse of Rs 4 crore, the teams need to choose between 18-25 players to form a team, including 2-4 overseas players and upto three players from the FKH.
This year's auction will also see the introduction of a 'Final Bid Match' option, whereby the franchises shall be entitled to match the final bid made by another franchise, for one or at most two players from its season five squad, in accordance with the guidelines set in the Player Policy.
Teams that have retained four players will be able to use the 'Final Bid Match' option just once, while the other teams get to use it twice during the open auctions.
With 422 players up for grabs and new concepts being introduced, the franchises will be raring to make the most of the two-day auctions that will mark the first event for the sixth edition of the caravan-style Pro Kabaddi League.
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Updated Date: May 14, 2018 19:07:35 IST