The vivo Pro Kabaddi League season 9 auction was filled with action-packed drama and the record for the most expensive player was broken not once but twice on the opening day.
Stars such as ‘Sultan’ Fazel Atrachali, ‘High-flyer’ Pawan Kumar Sehrawat and Vikash Kandola all went under the hammer, with teams biding huge sums of money in order to sign them into their franchises.
With all 3 players now in the exclusive 1 crore club, reactions from the players and their coaches speaking exclusively on Star Sports show ‘VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 9 Player Auction- Top Buys’ gives us a glimpse as to what we can expect from these stars in the 9th edition of the PKL.
Puneri Paltan faced strong competition from Dabang Delhi K.C. and Telugu Titians in the race to sign ‘Sultan’ Fazel Atrachali into their team. Dubbed the most successful foreign player in the tournament, Fazel got signed to Puneri Paltan for a whopping 1.38 crore and was very excited to be part of his new franchise.
“I am very happy to be part of the Puneri Paltan team. The team is very good with talented young players. I can’t wait to get started and help the team win their first PKL title,” Fazel said on Star Sports show ‘VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 9 Player Auction- Top Buys.
BC Ramesh, coach of Puneri Paltan also shed insights as to why the franchise was very keen on signing the Sultan, “The main difference in our team is Fazel Atrachali. We already have in our defence Sanket Sawant, Abhinesh Nadrajan and Sombir. Fazel is a great addition to our team. We need experienced players in the team and Fazel is a very experienced player. He plays in the defence very well and he can manage the team in how to play in pressure situations.
“He can guide the youngsters in the team as to when to attack and how to defend in different situations during the game. He has that knowledge with him. We needed a captain in our team, either Fazel or Nabi; we needed either one of them and we’ve got both of them. I’m very happy about that.”
Meanwhile, ‘High-flyer’ Pawan Kumar Sehrawat was the star of the auction with the Tamil Thalaivas spending a staggering Rs. 2.26 crore, a new PKL record. The franchise saw heavy competition from the Haryana Steelers initially, who started the bidding at Rs. 1 crore and later on by U Mumba.
Randhir Singh Sehrawat, coach of the Bengaluru Bulls, said that he will miss his star raider Pawan and wished him well for the upcoming season. “I will miss Pawan a lot. Do give your best and play sincerely for the team that has bought you and do well. I knew Pawan would go for Rs. 2.20-2.30 crores, so if I wanted Pawan, I would lose Vikash too. That’s the reason I went for Vikash first was because I was 100 per cent sure that Pawan would go for Rs. 2.20-2.30 crore,” he said.
Pawan, who forged a strong rapport with Randhir Singh Sehrawat, spoke about how he owes all his success to his coach who has made him a star today. “I would miss my coach the most because he has bought me to this level that I am at right now right. He has taken me from the bottom to a Rs. 2.20 plus-crore player, so the credit go to my coach. I had joined my coach during the PKL Season 3 for Rs. 4 lakh and going on to Rs. 2 crore-plus this season, all the credit go to my coach.
“As the coach mentioned, Kandola got in the team before me but I’m very sure that if Kandola hadn’t joined before, the coach would surely try to sign me for the Bengaluru Bulls. I’m sure even if we do not discuss these things that I trust him and he would 100 per cent bid for me. They need to make a team and if they hadn’t bought Kandola and if they wouldn’t get me too then it would be a very big loss for them, but I would like to thank my coach for still supporting me even today and I hope this continues,” he said.
Vikash Kandola, who went for Rs. 1.7 crore to Bengaluru Bulls, became the second most expensive player in PKL history. Bengaluru Bulls saw competition from UP Yoddha and Tamil Thalivas, but the champions of PKL 2018 were adamant to sign Vikash Kandola.
Vikash was also very excited to be part of the new franchise and to work under Randhir Singh.