Ever since the inception of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Kabaddi has become a mainstream sport in India. The league run by Mashal Sports has not only provided a dose of entertainment for the fans but has also helped in changing the lives of the players involved for the better.
During its maiden season in 2014, the highest earning player of PKL was former Indian captain and Arjuna Awardee, Rakesh Kumar. He was snapped up by the Patna Pirates for INR. 12.80 lakh.
But gone are those days when INR 12 lakh was the highest amount a player could earn by playing in a season of PKL. U Mumba was the first team to break the bank for their star defender Fazel Atrachali in season 6, paying him a whopping INR.1 crore.
Since then nine more times have teams splurged more than INR 1 crore for players. Here, we look at the top 10 most expensive players in PKL history.
The 6th season of PKL was when any team broke the INR. 1 crore barrier for the first time for a player in history. The man who achieved this feat was Iranian defender Fazel Atrachali as he was snapped up by U Mumba for INR. 1 crore ahead of PKL 2018. Atrachali has since gone on to establish himself as one of the first names in U Mumba's starting seven and has even led them quite a few times.
Yet another player who broke the bank in 2018, Rishank Devadiga was picked up by UP Yodhha for INR. 1.11 crore, having released him prior to the auction. Having played for the Yoddhas in 2018 and 2019, Devadiga will now be seen wearing Bengal Warrior's blue in the 2021 season.
Having had a wonderful season 5 with the UP Yoddhas, Nitin Tomar was snapped up by Puneri Paltan for INR. 1.15 crore in season 6. Tomar went on to captain the side that season and scored just 100 raid points in 11 matches.
Deepak Hooda was the third-most-expensive player of PKL 2018 along with Nitin Tomar. In a season that saw players earning in crores for the first time, Deepak Hooda was recruited by the inaugural champions Jaipur Pink Panthers for INR. 1.15 crore. Deepak Hooda has since been the Panthers' most successful player whilst also captaining the team.
After a not so impressive season in 2018, the Puneri Paltan released Nitin Tomar ahead of the 2019 auction only to bring him back for INR. 1.20 crore.
Rahul Chaudhari has been the poster boy of PKL for a long. Having plied his trade for the Telugu Titans for the first five seasons of the league, Rahul Chaudhari was released ahead of the 2018 season and bought back for a whopping 1.29 crore by the Titans, making him the second most expensive player of the league for the season.
Siddharth Desai started his PKL career with the U Mumba in 2018, scoring a whopping 221 raid points in 21 matches. He was released before the next season and the Telugu Titans jumped on the opportunity pocketing him for INR. 1.45 crore, making him the most expensive player in PKL 2019.
Releasing him ahead after the 2019 season, Siddharth Desai was bought back by the Telugu Titans for the 2021 season for INR. 1.30 crore. Having scored 217 points in 22 matches in season 7, Desai is expected to weave his magic once again for the Titans in the upcoming season.
In the 2018 season which saw six players go for more than INR. 1 crore, Monu Goyat emerged as the most expensive star at INR. 1.51 crore. He was picked up by the Haryana Steelers that year and ended up scoring 160 points in 20 matches.
Pardeep Narwal made his PKL debut in 2015 with the Bengaluru Bulls before moving to the Patna Pirates in 2016. He has since been their biggest asset but was released ahead of the 2021 auctions. This proved to be a blessing in disguise for Narwal as he was picked up by UP Yoddha for a whopping INR. 1.65 crore, making him the most expensive player in PKL history.
Update from PKL 2022 Auction: Pawan Sehrawat was acquired by Tamil Thalaivas for Rs 2.26 crore, breaking the record. Vikas Kandola was sold to Bengaluru Bulls for Rs 1.7 crore.