The Pro Kabaddi 2023 Auction took place earlier this month in Mumbai. Twelve teams roped in several players from across the world for the 10th edition of the PKL. This year, Mashal Sports allowed each team to spend a maximum of ₹5 crore at the auction to form their squads.
All the teams decided to retain some names from their previous squads, which is why only a couple of teams had around ₹4 crore left in their auction purse. The franchises went all out for the players they wanted in their squads, with three kabaddi stars earning contracts worth more than ₹2 crore.
While teams did not shy away from spending big at the Pro Kabaddi 2023 Auction, they also made some smart picks at bargain prices. We look at the top three bargain buys from the auction.
#1 Abhishek Singh – ₹14 lakh, Bengaluru Bulls
Abhishek Singh was the leader of U Mumba’s raid attack in seasons seven and eight. The talented raider finished with more than 150 points in both seasons. The Telugu Titans signed him in season nine but he could not impress much in the yellow jersey. Abhishek managed only 59 points in 16 matches.
The star raider was dealing with injury problems during his stint with the Telugu Titans. As a result, his performance was not up to the mark. The Titans released him prior to the Pro Kabaddi 2023 Auction, where the Bengaluru Bulls snapped him up for just ₹14 lakh.
Considering that Abhishek scored more than 300 points in just two seasons for U Mumba, one can say that the Bulls pulled off a steal by roping him in for just ₹14 lakh. It will be interesting to see how he performs for his new franchise.
#2 Alireza Mirazeian – ₹16.1 lakh, U Mumba
Former champions U Mumba signed two young Iranian talents at the Pro Kabaddi 2023 Auction. Amirmohammad Zafardanesh received a deal worth ₹68 lakh, while Alireza Mirzaein was the other Iranian to join U Mumba, signing for ₹16.1 lakh.
Mirzaein has not played in the Pro Kabaddi League before, but he is an extraordinary talent, and U Mumba coach Gholamreza Mazandrani wanted him in the squad. The team’s CEO Suhail Chandok exclusively told Sportskeeda that they could not believe it when they signed Mirzain for just ₹16.1 lakh.
“The better thing is the fact actually Alireza is a better individual raider than Zafardanesh but thankfully for us at Mumba, he had a slight niggle at the Asian Games. So for me to get Alireza at 16.1 (lakh), I mean we couldn’t believe it,” Suhail Chandhok said.
All eyes will be on the two Iranian talents when U Mumba play their matches in Pro Kabaddi League 2023.
#3 Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh – ₹22 lakh, Gujarat Giants
Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh played a big role in Bengal Warriors’ maiden PKL championship win in season seven. He also reached the finals of PKL last year with Puneri Paltan. On his day, Nabibakhsh can single-handedly destroy any opposition.
Quite surprisingly, there wasn’t a bidding war for the Iranian all-rounder’s services at the Pro Kabaddi 2023 Auction. His base price was ₹20 lakh and Gujarat Giants snapped him up for ₹22 lakh. For the record, Nabibakhsh has earned 266 points in 58 matches of his career.