Sehrawat becomes most expensive player in PKL history
The ace raider was bought by Tamil Thalaivas for ₹2.26 crore, becoming the first player to fetch ₹2 crore in PKL
An intense bidding war between Haryana Steelers, U Mumba, and Tamil Thalaivas saw Pawan Sehrawat become the most expensive buy in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) on Friday.
In the end, it was Thalaivas who bought the star raider, nicknamed 'Hi-flyer', for ₹2.26 crore. Sehrawat also became the first player to fetch ₹2 crore in PKL.
Sehrawat has been the top raider in the league for the last three seasons. In 2018, he was the MVP as he guided Bengaluru Bulls to their first PKL title in Season 6. In Seasons 7 and 8 he was adjudged as the best raider.
Even before the start of the auction for Season 9, everyone knew that Sehrawat will be bought for a huge amount. He had a base price of ₹30 lakh but Steelers started the bidding at ₹1 crore. They were locked in a battle with U Mumba before Thalaivas jumped in at ₹1.56 crores. That Thalaivas have just ₹57 lakh in their kitty shows how desperate they were to sign a top-quality striker. Even U Mumba were desperate after sitting quietly for the majority of the action on Day 1.
Just before Sehrawat went under the hammer, it was another raider, Vikash Kandola, who had become the most expensive buy of the PKL when he was picked up by Bengaluru Bulls for ₹1.70 crore. At first, Thailavas had gone toe-to-toe with Bulls to get Kandola.
A teary-eyed Bulls’ coach Randhir Singh later told host broadcaster Star Sports that he “knew Sehrawat would fetch ₹2 crore and upwards.” Singh said Bulls had to bid for Kandola as his name popped up first so that they have a top raider on their roster. Sehrawat was hoping that Bulls will use the Final Bid Match card to retain him but till then he had gone out of budget for them.
The previous most-expensive buy of the PKL, Pardeep Narwal went back to UP Yoddha for ₹90 lakh after they used the FBM card to snatch him from Gujarat Titans. Last year, Yoddha’s had bought Narwal for ₹1.65 crore.
Earlier, it was Puneri Paltan who started the auction proceedings with a bang when they made Fazel Atrachali the first ₹1 crore-plus buy of Season 9. They fought stiff competition from Dabang Delhi and Telugu Titans to get the Iranian on board for ₹1.38 crore. They also bought his compatriot Mohammad Nabibakhsh for ₹87 lakh. Day Two of the auction will be held on Saturday.