The highly-anticipated Pro Kabaddi League 2021 auction lived up to its billing with plenty of shocking changes, surprise snubs and record-setting acquisitions.
The three-day auction from August 29 to 31 saw teams break the bank to buy players while retaining some top talents. While there were a couple of players who breached the 1-crore mark, there were some big names who did not find any buyers among the 12 franchises.
Here, we take a look at some notable players who went unsold in the Season 8 auction and won’t feature once the league gets underway in December.
Ran Singh - All-Rounder
Former Tamil Thalaivas all-rounder and block specialist Ran Singh was a tad unlucky to not find a home at the Season 8 auction. He has played 120 matches, scoring a total of 335 points across the first seven seasons. The 33-year old is known for his all-round skills but his raid and tackle points dropped last season, which could be the reason why no team wanted to take a chance on him.
Mohit Chhillar - Defender
A versatile defender who operates mainly from the right corner position, Mohit Chhillar has played for five teams in the Pro Kabaddi League. His signature move the ‘Diving Thigh Hold’ has been the undoing of many a raider in past seasons. A champion with U Mumba in PKL’s second edition and top of the league for High 5s (6) in Season 3, Mohit managed just 68 tackle points over the last couple of campaigns, which is perhaps why no team wanted to put their faith in the right corner at the auctions.
Vishal Mane - Defender
Another big defensive name that failed to make it to any of the teams at the auction is that of Vishal Mane. He was at the peak of his powers in Season 5 and 6 with a total of 39 and 38 tackle points respectively. However, he managed just 27 tackle points last season and that seems to have plummeted his stock in the eyes of franchises. Having said that, Mane, who won the PKL title with U Mumba in Season 2, will believe that he still has plenty to offer despite being snubbed at the auction.
Nilesh Salunke - Raider
Specialising in the ‘Running Hand Touch’, Maharashtra-born raider Nilesh Salunke’s performances steadily declined in the last few PKL campaigns after being the second-best raider at Telugu Titans in Seasons 4 and 5. Salunke, who was just two points shy of 100 raid points in Season 5, collected 68 raid points last season and that could have sent the wrong impression to the franchises as they chose to ignore him at the auctions.
Rohit Baliyan - Raider
Rohit Baliyan missed out on getting picked by any franchise in the Season 8 auction. His successful raid point percentage dropped to 33.33 last season as opposed to 50 the year before. His dip in performance probably played a role in his auction snub although it’s still worth mentioning that his overall raid point percentage of 43.30 isn’t bad at all.
Shabeer Bappu - Raider
Kabaddi veteran and a core member of the title-winning U Mumbai side in Season 2, Shabeer Bappu had no takers after being released by Tamil Thalaiva just ahead of the Season 8 auction. He collected a mere seven raid points in Season 6 and followed it up with a slight improvement of 22 points in the next edition. At the age of 35, his dwindling form and advancing years might have gone against him at the auction.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi League