Long-term captains Anup Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari were not retained by their respective franchises U Mumba and Telugu Titans as teams announced the list of Elite Retained players for the sixth edition of Pro Kabaddi League on Monday.
Anup and Chudhari, however, weren't the only high profile players not to be retained by the franchises as PKL's most expensive player Nitin Tomar, national championship star Rishank Devadiga, corner defensive duo of Surender Nada and Mohit Chhillar, Manjeet Chhillar, Deepak Niwas Hooda, and Sukesh Hegde were all overlooked by their respective teams.
A total of 21 players have been retained by nine franchises for season six, with three teams — U Mumba, Jaipur Pink Panthers and UP Yoddha — deciding against keeping any of their players from the previous campaign.
Last season's Most Valuable Player, Pardeep Narwal though will continue to represent Patna Pirates after the three-time champions kept hold of the league's most prized asset. The Pirates also decided to extend the services of three more players — all-rounder Jawahar Dagar, left corner Jaideep and right cover Manish Kumar.
Last year's runners-up Gujarat Fortunegiants, who topped the league stage, retained three players that included young raiding sensation Sachin Kawar, right cover defender Sunil Kumar and raider Mahendra Ganesh Rajput. Surprisingly, the Fourtunegiants decided against keeping Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mohajermighani — the successful corner combination — that played an instrumental part in the Fortunegiants' march to the final in season five.
Among the foreigners, Dabang Delhi's Meraj Sheykh and Telugu Titans' Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari were the only foreigners to be retained by the teams for season six. Sheykh was the only player retained by the Delhi franchise who have found success hard to come by in the five seasons so far. The Titans, on the other hand, who have blown hot and cold in the PKL so far decided to hold on to in-form Maharashtrian raider Nilesh Salunke.
Bengaluiru Bulls and Haryana Steelers were the other teams to retain just a single player. The Bulls keeping hold of their record acquisition Rohit Kumar, while Steelers choose to extend all-rounder Kuldeep Singh's services.
Bengal Warriors will be among the few teams to head into the new campaign with the same captain as last year after Surjeet Singh was retained by the franchise. Apart from the all-rounder, raider Maninder Singh, who got a call-up to the national team for the Asian Kabaddi Championship last year will also star for the men in light blue.
The Tamil Thalaivas who had a disappointing opening season have decided to stick with skipper Ajay Thakur who showed signs of form in the national championship and the Asian Kabaddi championship. C Arun and Amit Hooda were the other players who were retained by the Chennai franchise.
Last season's semi-finalist Puneri Paltan decided to let captain Deepak Hooda go but retained four players: Sandeep Narwal, Gurunath More, Rajesh Mondal and Girisk Ernak.
The list announced by the franchises is the final list of Elite Retained players and none among those excluded are expected to be included by the teams now. The remaining players will be picked through an auction or a players' draft, the details which are unknown at this point of time.
The sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi League will begin on 19 October 2018.
Full list of retained players:
Bengal Warriors: Surjeet Singh, Maninder Singh
Bengaluru Bulls: Rohit Kumar
Dabang Delhi: Meraj Sheykh
Gujarat Fortunegiants: Sachin, Sunil Kumar, Mahendra Ganesh Rajput
Haryana Steelers: Kuldeep Singh
Jaipur Pink Panthers: No players retained
Patna Pirates: Pardeep Narwal, Jaideep, Jawahar Dagar, Manish Kumar
Puneri Paltan: Sandeep Narwal, Rajsh Mondal, Gurunath More, Girish Ernak
Tamil Thalaivas: Ajay Thakur, C Arun, Amit Hooda,
Telugu Titans: Nilesh Salunke, Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari
U Mumba: No players retained
UP Yoddha: No players retained
Updated Date: Apr 09, 2018 20:47 PM