5 Big stars who are likely to be seen in the Pro Kabaddi 2023 Auctions

Pune is set to break the Iranian duo of Fazel and Nabibakhsh!

The most awaited announcement which each and every Kabaddi fan around the globe was waiting for, is finally here as we are inching towards the tenth season of the Pro Kabaddi League. The tenth edition of the world’s grandest stage of Kabaddi will be commencing right after the completion of the 19th Asian Games held at Hangzhou in China. 

The organisers of the PKL, Mashal Sports released an official statement this Monday announcing the dates, venue and other key news regarding the auction battle for the upcoming season. It will be a two-day saga of the bids battle held on 8th and 9th September 2023 in Mumbai where more than 500 players’ fortunes will be going under the hammer. 

The purse size for all franchises has been increased to INR 5 crore while the auction roster will also feature 24 players from the final two sides of the recently concluded Khelo India University Games. 

We can already see many of the PKL franchises making coaching and management changes as their think tanks have already started the preparations for the bidding war. The underperforming sides from the previous season will be eying on squad overhaul while the rest of the teams will be considering this as an opportunity to strengthen their core. 

Hence, ‘Parimatch News‘ brings you the list of five Pro Kabaddi stars who are likely to be seen at the 2023 auctions. 

#5 Guman Singh (U Mumba)

U Mumba is in need of a prominent face to lead the offense

Guman Singh was touted as the next big thing in the Indian kabaddi when he had a debut season with Jaipur Pink Panthers and then a breakthrough runner-up campaign with Patna Patna. Especially after being sold at the humongous price of INR 1.21 crore, it was speculated that PKL 9 will be the platform where this young sensation will be turning into a superstar. 

The prolific Haryana raider may have had a good individual campaign but one thing was proven that he is still far away from earning a superstar status. He fetched 137 raid points along with seven Super 10s in 18 matches donning the orange kits and also missed a few Mumba fixtures after suffering from a concussion injury. 

The second-edition champions have gone through a major structural change ahead of their 10th PKL appearance and have appointed Suhail Chandok as the new CEO replacing Supratik Sen. Hence, there are high speculations that the Mumba management may offload the 1.21-crore player in order to start the new era with a big purse. 

#4 Ravi Kumar (Dabang Delhi)

Ravi Kumar is a veteran left-cover defender who has been part of this league since the second edition and marched the banner of three different franchises before donning the blue outfits of Delhi. The Dabangs acquired his services at the sum of 64 lakhs making him the fourth costliest defender in the auction round of the ninth edition. 

However, the Railways veteran could not perform up to expectations and managed to score only 22 tackle points which was his lowest individual tally since 2016. His natural left-cover position was secured by the youngster Vishal Lather who emerged as the most successful Dabang defender in the 2022 season. 

The Capital-based kick-started their title-defense campaign on a good note but got exposed very soon owing to their defensive incompatibility and eventually got knocked out in the eliminator round. Delhi’s newly appointed head coach Rambir Singh Khokhar is also known for investing in young prospects hence there will be no surprise if we see the 30-year-old back in auctions. 

#3 Amirhossein Bastami (Haryana Steelers)

After the ground-breaking success of the Patna stalwart Mohammadreza Shadloui, it was said that another similar kind of defensive all-rounder is set to bang the PKL stage. However, Amirhossein Bastami was unable to follow in the footsteps of his Iranian teammate and could not even justify his price tag of 65.1 lakhs in his debut campaign. 

After a series of miserable performances, Bastami was sidelined from the Haryana Starting Seven after losing his first-choice status for the right-corner position to Monu Hooda. He featured in 16 matches for the Steelers in which he was able to accumulate only 23 tackle points and a solitary High 5 heroics. 

His huge price tag is the major reason behind his speculated release as he was on-boarded by the Panchkula-based franchise as the second-most expensive foreign defender of the previous season after Sultan Fazel Atrachali. Haryana may opt to stick with the local lad Monu Hooda as their primary right corner upon releasing the Iranian defender. 

#2 Vikash Kandola (Bengaluru Bulls)

Vikash Kandola is likely to be back at the bidding war for the consecutive season

When the power star Pawan Kumar Sehrawat left the Bulls after a glorious association of five years, Vikash Kandola was chosen as the next face of Bengaluru’s raiding unit continuing the legacy of the likes of Ajay Thakur and Rohit Kumar. The 25-year-old rightfully earned this honour of succession from the gaffer Randhir Singh Sehrawat after years of consistency with Railways and Haryana Steelers.

But when it came to the action, Vikash always looked under the pressure of his huge price tag and played a supportive role to the raiding sensation Bharat Hooda throughout the season. Kandola contributed 135 raid and 4 tackle points for the Karnataka-based franchise in the previous season which was also his lowest total points tally since 2017.

The sixth-edition champions spent 39% of their total purse (4.4 crores) while acquiring the services of the former Haryana Steelers skipper which turned out to be a disastrous move. Lack of consistency in the crucial stages of the tournament diminished Bengaluru’s claim on the PKL title and in order to focus on those weaknesses, team management may release Vikash and try to buy him back at a lower price.

#1 Mohammad Nabibakhsh (Puneri Paltan)

The last feature on this list is someone who once ruled the world’s grandest stage of Kabaddi with his all-round excellence and is now struggling to get the game time. Despite the absence of Maninder Singh, the Iranian maestro captained Bengal in the Season 7 finals against Dabang Delhi and scored an incredible Super 10 to lift the maiden trophy for the Warriors.

Nabibakhsh then switched to Puneri Paltan in 2022 and became the second-most expensive foreign player costing 87 lakhs to the Maharashtrian outfit. However, firstly his late arrival due to visa issues and then fitness obstacles affected his performance as only 36 total points from 15 appearances are something which we don’t expect from a player of his calibre.

Pune’s offensive unit is stacked with young faces like Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat, Akash Shinde, Aditya Shinde and Pankaj Mohite and its developmental side Yuva Paltan is set to launch many more such raiding talent in the forthcoming season. 

The Paltan management will have to choose between Fazel and Nabibakhsh where the left-corner defender’s legacy and captaincy experience makes things even tougher for the Asian Games gold medalist all-rounder.