Founder of Everest Premier League Aamir Akhtar (center) speaks during a press meet organized after the auction of the players in Kathmandu on Monday. Photo Courtesy: Bijay Gajmer
KATHMANDU, Oct 24: Auction for the upcoming Everest Premier League (EPL) has been conducted in Kathmandu on Monday. A total of 90 players were kept in the auction for the tournament that will feature six city-based franchise teams from across the country.
Although 160 players had registered their names for the auction, the tournament technical committee led by former national team skipper Binod Das had selected 90 players from the pool, categorizing them into A, B, and C.
The tournament’s six teams including Bhairahawa Gladiators, Biratnagar Warriors, Chitwan Tigers, Kathmandu Kings XI, Lalitpur Patriots, and Pokhara Rhinos picked 10 players each from the auction. There was a provision of picking of 10 players from the auction spending up to Rs 1 million.
Each team, to be led by one marquee player, will have a 15-member squad comprising of 10 players coming from the auction, three foreign players, and one local player.
Bhairahawa Gladiators owned by Aditya Sanghai has Sharad Vesawkar as the marquee player while Vishal Agrawal’s Biratnagar Warriors has national team skipper Paras Khadka as the marquee player.
Similarly, Kishore Bhattari and Dipendra Singh Airee are the owner and marquee player of Chitwan Tigers whereas Kathmandu Kings XI has Rohit Gupta as the owner and Sompal Kmai as the marquee player.
Likewise, Lalitpur Patriots is owned by Kishore Maharjan and Gyanendra Malla is its marquee player, while Pokhara Rhinos’ owner and marquee player are Shahil Agrawal and Shakti Gauchan respectively.
As per the provision of the tournament, the owners were permitted to bid from Rs 100,000 to Rs 175,000 for A-category players. The B-category players’ price was kept from Rs 75,000 to Rs 125,000. Likewise, the owners were allowed to bid from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000 for the C-category players.
Altogether four players including Aarif Sheikh, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, and Binod Bhandari were sold for the highest price -- Rs 175,000 -- during the auction. Aarif and Karan were bought by Bhairahawa Gladiators and Biratnagar Warriors respectively. Likewise, Lalitpur Patriots bought Sandeep Lamichhane while Binod Bhandari joined Pokhara Rhinos.
The second highest bid in the auction was Rs 160,000 made for Pradeep Airee and Basant Regmi, submitted by Bhairahawa Gladiators and Biratnagar Warriors. Likewise, the third highest bid for the players in the auction was Rs 150,000 submitted by Kathmandu Kings XI and Pokhara Rhinos for Sagar Pun and Mehboob Alam respectively.