The Pro Kabaddi League’s (PKL) player auctions will be held on October 9 and 10, the organizers announced on Friday.
The PKL auctions were originally scheduled for September 8-9, but were postponed after the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India requested that the dates be changed in view of the Indian kabaddi team’s preparations for the Asian Games.
The Asian Games get underway in China on August 23 and the kabaddi action begins on October 4. Coached by Ashan Kumar, the Indian men’s team for the Asian Games was announced two weeks ago. The one major surprise in India’s 12-man Asian Games squad was Pardeep Narwal’s exclusion, while the rest of the team was on expected lines.
Speaking on the revised auctions dates, Anupam Goswami, PKL’s league commissioner said, “We are delighted to announce that the Pro Kabaddi League Season 10 Player Auction will now be held immediately after the Asian Games. We are certain that there will be very strong fan excitement and interest in a blockbuster Player Auction, where several star performers from the Asian Games will attract competitive bidding from the PKL teams”.
PKL 10 will see the return of the caravan format, where the league would travel to the home cities of each of the 12 teams. PKL goes back to the caravan format after two years, where PKL 8 was played in a bio-bubble in Bengaluru due to the coronavirus pandemic and PKL 9 was held across Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
The player auctions are bound to be fiercely contested this time around as a bunch of superstars, including the likes of Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, Maninder Singh, Mohammadreza Shadlloui and Fazel Atrachali are all in the auction pool. A total of 84 players were retained by the 12 teams, which included top players such as last season’s MVP Arjun Deshwal (Jaipur Pink Panthers), Naveen Kumar (Dabang Delhi), Pardeep Narwal (UP Yoddhas) and Aslam Inamdar (Puneri Paltan).
While PKL 10 will begin on December 2, India’s biggest kabaddi stars will be in action before that at the Asian Games. The Indian team, led by coach Ashan Kumar and captain Pawan Sehrawat, will look to wrestle back the Asian Games gold medal that they had lost to Iran in 2018. India is the most successful team at the Asian level – having won gold in every edition of the Asian Games since 1990. The team recently beat Iran to win the Asian Kabaddi Championships.