The advent of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has brought many kabaddi players from across India into prominence and revolutionised one of India’s most enjoyable indigenous sports. The demand for players by teams in every PKL auction has been a testament to the rising popularity of kabaddi.
With each passing PKL season, franchises have been rather upfront to place massive bids to secure the services of their targets with as many as seven players touching the crore mark.
Iranian defender Fazel Atrachali was the first player in PKL history to cross the one-crore mark when he was bought by U Mumba ahead of Season 6. Fazel would break his own record as Puneri Paltan paid INR 1.38 crore to sign him as the most expensive defender in PKL history.
Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, meanwhile, became the first PKL player to be signed for two crores. Tamil Thalaivas broke the bank to land the marquee raider for INR 2.26 crore.
In all, 12 kabaddi players have been bought for over the 1 crore mark in PKL since then.
Most expensive player in PKL history: All-time list
|Pawan Kumar Sehrawat||Tamil Thalaivas||INR 2.26 crore||Season 9|
|Vikash Kandola||Bengaluru Bulls||INR 1.70 crore||Season 9|
|Pardeep Narwal||U.P. Yoddha||INR 1.65 crore||Season 8|
|Monu Goyat||Haryana Steelers||INR 1.51 crore||Season 6|
|Siddharth Desai||Telugu Titans||INR 1.45 crore||Season 7|
|Fazel Atrachali||Puneri Paltan||INR 1.38 crore||Season 9|
|Rahul Chaudhari||Telugu Titans||INR 1.29 crore||Season 6|
|Guman Singh||U Mumba||INR 1.22 crore||Season 9|
|Nitin Tomar||Puneri Paltan||INR 1.20 crore||Season 7|
|Deepak Hooda||Jaipur Pink Panthers||INR 1.15 crore||Season 6|
However, long before PKL’s crore club was formed, franchises were spending big in the player auction even when the league was still in a relatively nascent stage.
Here we look back at Pro Kabaddi’s most expensive players following the auctions from each season. While there were no auctions ahead of Season 2 and 3 of PKL, the rest of the editions saw franchises splash the cash in their bid to secure the top players.
Most expensive PKL players: By each season
Season 1: Rakesh Kumar to Patna Pirates - INR 12.80 lakh
Rakesh Kumar was the most expensive player in the inaugural auction. The all-rounder was bought for INR 12.80 lakh by Patna Pirates.
The Pirates managed to reach the semi-final of the competition in that season despite Rakesh featuring in only four matches and notching just 17 points overall.
Season 4: Mohit Chhillar to Bengaluru Bulls - INR 53 lakh
During the Season 4 auction, Mohit Chhillar was bought by Bengaluru Bulls for INR 53 lakh, which was four times his base price.
Mohit Chhillar scored 47 tackle points that season and finished as the third-best defender in the league. The Bulls, meanwhile, failed to qualify for the playoffs, finishing sixth in the standings.
Season 5: Nitin Tomar to U.P. Yoddha - INR 93 lakh
Nitin Tomar was bought for INR 93 lakh by UP Yoddha in the franchise’s first PKL season. He is amongst Pro Kabaddi’s most expensive players, having gone on to attract bids worth over a crore on more than one occasion after his Season 5 exploits.
Tomar had a dream season with UP Yoddha in the fifth edition of PKL, scoring 167 raid points in 20 games. The team made it to the playoffs but were knocked out in the eliminator match.
Season 6: Monu Goyat to Haryana Steelers - INR 1.51 crore
PKL’s Season 6 auctions saw Haryana Steelers secure the services of star raider Monu Goyat for INR 1.51 crore.
A PKL title winner with Patna Pirates, he notched 160 raid points for Haryana in Season 6 before moving to UP Yoddha ahead of the seventh edition. Haryana Steelers finished bottom of the Zone A standings in Season 6.
Season 7: Siddharth Desai to Telugu Titans - INR 1.45 crore
Siddharth Desai was bought by Telugu Titans in the PKL 7 auction. He had an impressive debut season with U Mumba, scoring 218 raid points. His debut PKL campaign convinced Telugu Titans to buy Siddharth ‘Bahubali’ Desai for a whopping INR 1.45 crore, which accounted for almost 33 per cent of their budget.
He finished Season 7 with 217 raid points and is currently second on the list of Pro Kabaddi’s expensive players’ list. Telugu Titans, meanwhile, finished their campaign in 11th place in the 12-team league.
Season 8: Pardeep Narwal to U.P. Yoddha - INR 1.65 crore
‘Dubki King’ Pardeep Narwal joined U.P. Yoddha for a fee of INR 1.65 crore, becoming the most expensive signing in PKL history. After five seasons with Patna Pirates, Narwal signed up for his third different team since making his PKL debut in 2015.
With 188 raid points under his belt in Season 8, Pardeep Narwal took his overall raid points tally to 1,348 points. However, he finished the season as a semi-finalist as U.P Yoddha lost to Patna Pirates.
Season 9: Pawan Kumar Sehrawat to Tamil Thalaivas - INR 2.26 crore
Pawan Kumar Sehrawat became the first two-crore man in PKL history after Tamil Thalaivas bid a massive INR 2.26 crore to sign him for Pro Kabaddi Season 9.
Among the most prolific raiders in the competition, Pawan Kumar Sehrawat joins his latest team with a record of 986 raid points and 49 Super 10s in 104 matches.
Featured Photo: Pro Kabaddi League