New Delhi, Sep 1: Star raider Pardeep Narwal has been making headlines after emerging as the highest-paid kabaddi player in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).
The raider from Haryana - who was released by his franchise Patna Pirates ahead of the PKL 2021 Auction - was picked up by UP Yoddha at a whopping bidding price of Rs 1.65 crore.
Pardeep - who is one of the biggest stars of the lucrative franchise-based kabaddi league - surpassed Monu Goyat to become the most expensive player ever. Goyat was bought for Rs 1.51 crore by Haryana Steelers during PKL Season 6 Auction.
Pardeep has been the highest-ranked raider in the history of the tournament. In the PKL Season 7, he picked up 302 raid points and was second in the tally after Bengaluru Bulls' Pawan Sehrawat. He made the most number of super raids (15) in the season.
In 107 games he has played in the league, Pardeep has scored a whopping 1169 total points, which is a record. He picked up 36 points in a single game during the PKL 7 encounter, which is another record. In his entire PKL career, Pardeep has made 53 super raids and picked up 59 super 10s.
Over 190 players were sold to the 12 franchises teams with as many as 10 Final Bid Match (FBM) cards being used. The auction witnessed teams spend Rs 48.22 Cr in total, across the various categories of players being auctioned.
However, Pardeep and Siddharth Desai (Rs 1.30 crore, Telugu Titans) were the only players who became millionaires at the PKL Season 8 auction.
After emerging as the most expensive player in the history of the league, Pardeep said didn't expect it. After playing for Patna Pirates for five seasons, Pardeep said he's looking forward to representing UP Yoddha.
"I never expected to be the highest-paid player sold in the PKL Season 8 auction - it has been a memorable five seasons with Patna Pirates, and now I am looking forward to representing UP Yoddha this season. I would like to thank the UP Yoddha management and I'm ready to take on season 8 with a renewed spirit," Pardeep told official broadcasters Star Sports.
Speaking about the purchase of 'Record Breaker' Pardeep, UP Yoddha coach Jasvir Singh claimed they were determined to bring in a marquee raider to the side and the franchise succeeded in roping in Pardeep.
"We were determined to bring in a marquee raider. With Siddharth and Pardeep in the auction pool, our focus was on them - keeping the team combination in mind. Whatever we planned, we have executed and got the right players we wanted," said Jasvir Singh.