Members of Chitwan Rhinos are seen with Nepal national team captain Paras Khadka (center) in the auction ceremony of the Pokhara Premier League in Kathmandu on Sunday.
KATHMANDU, Oct 1: A total of Rs 7.85 million was spent by six franchise teams for acquiring 69 players during the auctions for the inaugural season of Pokhara Premier League (PPL) in Kathmandu on Sunday. Altogether 179 players registered for the auctions.
Sagar Pun, Anil Kumar Sah, Mohammad Aarif Sheikh, Karan KC, Basant Regmi, Rohit Kumar Paudel and Binod Bhandari went for most value of Rs 250,000 in the auctions.
The auctions were kicked off by first buy of Mohammad Samsaad Sheikh at a price of Rs 60,000 by Butwal Blasters led by Marquee Player Sompal Kami. They spent a total of Rs 1.29 million to acquire 13 players. It was the combined most for the day along with Dhangadhi Blues. Blasters’ most expensive players, after Sagar Pun, are fast bowler Lalit Singh Bhandari, Siddhant Lohani and U-19 middle order batsman Bhim Sarki, valued at Rs 200,000, Rs 160,000 and Rs 150,000 respectively.
The first shocker of the day came when Shakti Prasad Gauchan went unsold in the initial round of competitive bidding. The recently retired veteran left arm spinner has registered his base price at Rs 210,000. However, Paras Khadka-led Chitwan Rhinos did buy him at the end of the auctions from the wish list.
Rhinos were the biggest spenders of the day with Rs 1.49 million being spent exceeding the pre-allocated limit of Rs 1.3 million. They will have to pay a pre-determined fine of 25 percent of the total purchase money of Gauchan to the organizers in return. They bid maximum for Sah, Aarif and KC before acquiring them on lucky draw.
Biratnagar Titans, led by leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, had the perfect zero balance at the end of the auctions buying 12 players including the likes of Nepal international opening batting duo of Pradeep Airee and Sunil Dhamala at the price of Rs 240,000 and Rs 220,000 respectively. Jeetendra Mukhiya, Rajesh Pulami Magar and Raju Rijal are the other former national players in the team.
Dipendra Singh Airee-led Expert Dhangadhi Blues spent Rs 1.2 million in the auctions with Kamal Singh Airee, Sandeep Jora and Sagar Dhakal being only current internationals participating in the Youth Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Their most expensive player was wicketkeeper batsman Dilip Nath costing Rs 240,000.
Likewise, Kathmandu Royals led by national vice-captain Gyanendra Malla spent 1.28 million acquiring players such as Regmi and Naresh Budhayer for Rs 230,000. Former internationals Sushan Bhari and Prithu Baskota, sold for Rs 150,000 and Rs 120,000 respectively, will also play for the Royals in the PPL.
Last but not the least, Sharad Vesawkar-led Pokhara Paltan splashed maximum bids of Paudel and Binod Bhandari in the senior capped and Kushal Bhurtel in the age-level capped categories as they were acquired on lucky draw. Former legendary all rounder Mehboob Alam was sold to Paltan for Rs 160,000 and U-19 captain Mohammad Aasif Sheikh went for Rs 80,000.
Each team will have to announce two local icons and two overseas players for the premier league. The teams will have to play at least one overseas player in the XI whereas there is no mandatory rules to include local icons in the playing XI. The PPL is set to be organized by the Queen Events Private Limited from October 26.