Season 7 auction dishes out 2 millionaires
MUMBAI: Cash-crunch notwithstanding, Pune-bred Siddharth Desai was expected to garner over Rs 1 crore and as he became the first millionaire of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 7, Nitin Tomar soon followed him into that exclusive club when Puneri Paltan used ‘Final Bid Match’ card to keep him after Telugu Titans had closed the bid for Rs 1.20 crore on the Day 1 of auction here on Monday.
With the league returning to its usual July-October cycle and a rival league also waiting to begin there was palpable expectations as to which players would get picked up and who remained unsold, which actually added to the uneasiness the teams showed when the bidding opened this afternoon at the swanky Trident Hotel.
Pro Kabaddi League promoters timed the auction well in time for the July 19 opening, keeping a good buffer of three months for the players and team to get ready for the three-month league for which the finale is planned on October 9.
As the excitement grew, first with the with auction of the international players, once Siddharth Desai and Nitin Tomar attracted bids for over Rs 1 crore, it was Rahul Chaudhari’s time to leave Titans, who broke the bank to acquire Desai, for whom U Mumba refused to pull out the FBM card. Rahul will now play for Tamil Thalaivas in the seventh season.
While the bidding threw up some surprises, it left a lot to answer as big names such as Sukesh Hegde, Kashiling Adake and Jasvir Singh went unsold.
Soon after the round of auction ended, in a con-call, Desai expressed bewilderment of crossing the Rs 1 crore mark.
“I started dancing when I saw the result of my bid. I come from a humble background; my father is a farmer and I know how difficult it is to become a Kabaddi player. I would like to thank Telugu Titans for believing in me and handing me the opportunity to showcase my talent. Now that I have been sold for such a high price I will make sure I give my 100 per cent and make the team proud,” said Desai.