Carrying the burden of the highest paycheque
The most expensive player is a tag which not a lot of players enjoy having. Even before the tournament starts, all eyes are on the player as he has attracted attention on the auction table. Historically, the Pro Kabaddi League auction has been an event where Kabaddi fans are glued to their TV sets as the teams decide their strategy with the players going under the hammer.
Pardeep Narwal, who has been the poster boy of the PKL for the past few editions, was bought by the UP Yoddhas for INR 1.65 crores. The raider led Patna Pirates to a hat-trick of titles and has registered over 1100 in the history of the league where no other raider has breached the 1000-point mark.
In this article, we look at how the most expensive player has fared in the seasons gone by, the factors that affect the performance of the player in the league.
Season 1- Rakesh Kumar
The captain of the Indian Kabaddi team, Rakesh Kumar, was the highest-paid player in the inaugural edition at 12.8 lakh. Rakesh was the best player in the Indian team and because of his all-round skills, he possessed the value that was justified.
However, the captain failed to impress as he collected just 17 points in his four appearances and missed out on the season due to injury.
Season 2- Hadi Oshtorak
Hadi Oshtorak was roped in by the Telugu Titans for a whopping amount of 21.1 lakhs. The Iranian all-rounder was in top form for his national side and in spite of his overseas status in the league, the Titans poured money for the all-rounder. In the four matches that he was given an opportunity in, he could manage only 7 points and all of them came while defending. 5 out of the 7 points came in just a solitary game and the all-rounder was below-par in his debut season.
Season 3- Hadi Oshtorak
Oshtorak was the highest-paid player in the following season as well. This time he was part of the championship-winning team, Patna Pirates but could only manage 18 points in 10 appearances.
Season 4- Mohit Chillar
Ahead of season 4 of the PKL, the first mega auction was organised and the players had a windfall. The prime beneficiary was Mohit Chillar as he was bought by the Bengaluru Bulls for 53 lakhs. The defender had established himself as the best corner during his years at U Mumba and helped them reach the finals in each of the first three seasons.
He registered 47 tackle points and was the third-best defender in the league, behind Fazel Atrachali and Amit Hooda. He justified the franchise’s trust in him with a terrific performance throughout the season.
Season 5- Nitin Tomar
The league became bigger and better in the 5th season with the addition of two new teams. One of the new entrants, the UP Yoddhas paid handsomely for Nitin Tomar and acquired his services for 93 lakhs. The raider was impressive in the season as he scored 167 raid points and helped the team reach the playoffs. He was among the top 10 raiders of the season.
Season 6- Monu Goyat
Ahead of season 6 of the PKL, Haryana Steelers bought Monu Goyat for a whopping sum of 1.51 crores and he became the first crorepati of the league. In the previous season of the league, Goyat was under the shadow of Pardeep’s brilliance but he scored 191 points and was one of the top raiders in season 5. The duo’s brilliance helped Patna win the title and Haryana also benefited from his heroics as he registered 160 points during the course of the season.
Season 7- Siddharth Desai
Desai burst onto the scene during season 6 of the PKL with 218 points while representing U Mumba. So when he entered the auction ahead of 2019 it came as no surprise when Telugu Titans paid 1.45 crores to secure his services. Desai was impressive as he replicated his performance with 217 points in the previous season of the league.
The paycheque comes with a lot of expectations from the team as well as the fans. Pardeep Narwal had dealt with the pressure as he has set high standards for himself but this time the onus will be on him to justify the money, the UP-based franchise has paid for him.