Champions Bengal Warriors, led by coach BC Ramesh, will look to retain the major elements of their winning recipe. The two captain figures who led from the front Maninder Singh (212 raid points at 65% strike rate) and Nabibakhsh (99 raid points, 30 tackle points with him being on mat for a massive 81% of the raids) have been retained. To retain Maninder and Nabibakhsh, Bengal has needed to spend 15 L extra, coupled with the fact that they had a right corner worth 50 - 60L at 13L is a big challenge for the management and analysts to address.
FOLLOW : Pro Kabaddi 8 Auctions LIVE
Left corner Rinku Narwal (64 tackle points, 80% on mat) and NYP Ravinder Ramesh Kumavat have also been retained. Although Baldev Singh who represents Himachal Pradesh was the cornerstone of their defense, scoring 65 tackle points and staying on the mat for 90% of the raids, Bengal Warriors could not retain Baldev Singh. He will be a primary FBM candidate for the Warriors given they have to take on a series of brilliant right raiders including the likes of Pawan Sehrawat and Naveen Kumar. Bengal needs a good right corner in the auction, if they get Baldev back they will have the core of their title-winning campaign together. However, Baldev Singh will be sought after by many teams and is likely to be expensive.
The two other key players of their winning 2019 squad included Karnataka stars Prapanjan and Sukesh Hegde. Both raiders played the role of support defender to perfection often exceeding their expectations. They came good when it mattered this allowing them to handle the injury to their lead raider -- with the purse drop for their retention they will need to sacrifice one of these two or hope that Ravindra Kumavat will do their role this season and punch well above his retention cost.
The weakness in the squad was the leaky covers and that will be a key goal for Champion team coach BC Ramesh. All in all a very tight rope balancing act the warriors will need to follow.
Purse left : 224 Lakhs for at least 14 players
Retained Players :
1. Lead Raider and Captain, Maninder Singh (86.5 Lakhs)
2. A true all-rounder who led them magnificently in the PKL7 finals, Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh (85.75 Lakhs)
3. Left corner Rinku Narwal (28 Lakhs)
4. Young raider Ravinder Ramesh Kumavat (15 Lakhs)
Likely FBM Candidates :
1. Right corner Baldev Singh (65 tackle points in PKL7)
2. Raider Prapanjan (107 raid points in PKL7)