An eventful VIVO ProKabaddi auction came to an end here in Mumbai after an action-packed 2 days which saw the hammer go down on some of Kabaddi’s biggest stars!
With our defensive unit sorted with us retaining the PKL Defender of the Season, Nitesh Kumar, the focus for us was attracting some top quality raiders and All-rounders to bolster our unit. And our think tank at the auction, which included our two coaches, Jasveer Singh, Arjun Singh and our CEO, Col. Bisht, did exactly that. We bought in Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari for INR 21 L, followed by having our last campaign’s foreign recruit, Md. Masud Karim reunite with us as we purchased the Bangladeshi rookie for INR 10 L.
Our landmark signing was the previous season’s most expensive player, Monu Goyat for a staggering 93 L, thus adding a powerful raid monster in our squad. We even ended up acquiring our previous season’s star players, Rishank Devadiga and Shrikant Jadhav via the FBM card option for INR 61 L and INR 68 L respectively. Both of them had been in scintillating form including our season captain Rishank and re-signing them back was a no-brainer from our team point of view.
After a seemingly favorable series of events on the 1st day of the PKL auctions, selecting players from the huge pool of domestic talent was going to be a bit of a tricky task.
The bidding for all-rounders from category C was on. Except for a select few, the teams seemed uninterested in bidding upon most of the all-rounders from category C, as many players had no takers. The similar "no-takers" streak was followed for the defenders in the same category as well.
The following round witnessed the set of players that went unsold on day 2. Here we latched into a tug of war contest with Tamil Thalaivas for defender Ajeet as the price soared up to 25L from a base price of 10L in no time, and ultimately stopped the pursuit as the latter got the player at 32L.
There were no bids made for the next round which had the raiders from category C. Post lunch in the NYP unsold players' round, we made a promising acquisition in the Haryana-born raider, youngster Ankush, who is a gold medal winner from the junior national level, at 6.25L.
In the following round of unallocated players, we held onto our all-rounder squad-member from the last season, Narender for 20L. Our very own PKL's 2018 defender of the season Nitesh Kumar's brother, all-rounder Gurdeep and another raider, Surender Singh were bought in, both at 10L each. The final acquisition was made in another raider, Gulveer Singh for a price of 10L.
Along with the retention of all-rounder Narender, acquisitions of additional three raiders suggest enough depth and support for our main trio of Monu, Rishank and Shrikant with the unit being further strengthened by getting Nitesh's brother, Gurdeep.
Ankush from the NYP pool seems to be the highlight-acquistion from the final day of the auctions. This is because last season, Nitesh Kumar being an acquisition under the NYP programme, put in a superb display throughout to amass a century of tackle points and bag the "Defender of the Season" title. A little same can be said for raider, Ankush who might just do reasonably well given the expectation from a NYP player, given the limited possible chances that might come his way.
This was the tale for UP Yoddha in the 2019 auctions, as we eagerly wait for the 19th of July for when the 7th season of the VIVO PKL would commence!