New Delhi: It wasn't Sushil Kumar or Yogeshwar Dutt who earned the highest bid at the first ever Pro Wrestling League (PWL) players' auction as Ukraine's top female grappler Oksana Herhel was bagged by the Haryana franchise here on Tuesday, surprising one and all.
The franchise, bought by technology firm Olive Global, had no hesitation in bidding and then buying the reigning World Champion for a whopping Rs.41.3 lakh from her base price of Rs.33 lakh.
This took Oksana past India's Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar, also bought by Haryana for the second highest bid of Rs.39.7 and is also the icon player of the team.
The third most expensive buy was another female, Turkish Yesilirmak Elif Jale, a two-time World Championship bronze medallist, for Rs.39.7 lakh, who went to GMR Group-owned Delhi franchise.
Delhi's icon player Sofia Mattsson, the 2009 World Champion, was sold for her base price of Rs.33 lakh as the outfit from the national capital also bought two-time Worlds bronze winner Geno Petriashvili of Georgia for Rs.33.4.
The fourth most expensive buy was India's own two-time Olympic silver medallist Sushil who was sold to Uttar Pradesh for Rs.38.2 lakh as their icon. Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Babita Kumari was also added to the Uttar Pradesh squad for a healthy Rs.34.1 lakh.
The Uttar Pradesh franchise is owned by real estate firm Lotus Greens.
Narsingh Pancham Yadav, who won India's lone medal (bronze) at the 2015 Worlds, was made the icon for Bengaluru, going to the southern metro franchise owned by the JSW Group for Rs.34.5 lakh.
Mumbai, owned by Maverick Industries and Mafatlal Industries, took in American Adeline Gray as their icon player for Rs.37 lakh while India's most prolific woman grappler Geeta Phogat was sold to Punjab, owned by CDR group and Bollywood actor Dharmendra, for her base price of Rs.33 lakh.
The other notable buy for Punjab was reigning World Champion Vladimer Khinchegashvili, who was bought for Rs.35.3 lakh.
A total of 159 wrestlers went under the hammer to be bought by each of the six franchises - New Delhi, Bengaluru, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab -- with each having a purchase capacity of Rs.2 crore. Each team needed to have one icon player with all having a base price of Rs.33 lakh.
The tournament, with a total prize money of Rs.3 crore will be held from December 10 to 27. A total of 18 ties will be held during the tournament -- 15 in the league phase, two semi-finals and one final. Each tie comprises of nine bouts and will be played in accordance with the Olympics rules.
Each team will have nine players (five men and four women). Also, each team can have a maximum of five Indians and four foreigners.
The tournament will be conducted by ProSportify in association with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). The bidding was conducted by international auctioneer Bob Hayton.
Punjab: Geeta Phogat (58 kg, Icon) Rs.33 lakh, Vladimir Khinchegashvili (57 kg) Rs.35.3 lakh, Rajneesh (65 kg) Rs.7 lakh, Parvesh Rana (74 kg) Rs. 13.1 lakh, Mausam Khatri (97 kg) Rs.16 lakh, Jargalsaikhan Chuluunbat (125 kg) Rs.17 lakh, Fredrika Pettersson (48 kg) Rs.17 lakh, Priyanka Phogat (53 kg) Rs.7 lakh, Vasilisa Marzaliuk (69 kg) Rs.40.2 lakh.
Bengaluru: Narsingh Yadav (74 kg, Icon) Rs.34.5 lakh, Sandeep Tomar (57 kg) Rs.10.3 lakh, Bajrang Punia (65 kg) Rs.29.5 lakh, Pavlo Oliynik (97 kg) Rs.29 lakh, Modzmanashvili Davit (125 kg) Rs.18.1 lakh, Alyssa Lampe (48 kg) Rs.13 lakh, Lalita Sherawat (53 kg) Rs.7 lakh, Malin Johanna Mattsson (58 kg) Rs.20 lakh, Navjot Kaur (69 kg) Rs.10 lakh.
New Delhi: Sofia Mattsson (53 kg, Icon) Rs.33 lakh, Ravi Kumar (57 kg) Rs.4 lakh, Navruzov Ikhtiyor (65 kg) Rs.26 lakh, Dinesh Kumar (74 kg) Rs.4 lakh, Gurpal Singh (97 kg) Rs.4 lakh, Petriashvili Geno (125 kg) Rs.33.4 lakh, Vinesh Phogat (48 kg) Rs.29.7 lakh, Yesilirmak Elif Jale (58 kg) Rs.39.6 lakh, Nikki (69 kg) Rs.4 lakh.
Haryana: Yogeshwar Dutt (65 kg, Icon) Rs.39.7 lakh, Amit Dahiya (57 kg) Rs.30.1 lakh, Livan Lopez Azcuy (74 kg) Rs.20 lakh, Yuri Maier (97 kg) Rs.10 lakh, Hitender (125 kg) Rs.11.1 lakh, Nirmal Devi (48 kg) Rs.4 lakh, Tatyana Kit (53 kg) Rs.30 lakh, Oksana Herhel (58 kg) Rs.41.3 lakh, Geetika Jakhar (69 kg) Rs.10 lakh.
Uttar Pradesh: Sushil Kumar (74 kg, Icon) Rs.38.2 lakh, Sergey Ratushniy (57 kg) Rs.13 lakh, Ganzorig Mandakhnran (65 kg) Rs.13 lakh, Satyavrat Kadian (97 kg) Rs.20 lakh, Joginder Kumar (125 kg) Rs.7 lakh, Kogut Oleksandra (48 kg) Rs.27 lakh, Babita Kumari (53 kg) Rs.34.1 lakh, Ritu Malik (58 kg) Rs.7 lakh, Alina Stadinik Makhinia (69 kg) Rs.13 lakh.
Mumbai: Adeline Gray (69 kg, Icon) Rs.37 lakh, Rahul Aware (57 kg) Rs.26.6 lakh, Amit Dhankar (65 kg) Rs.29.3 lakh, Pardeep (74 kg) Rs.5.6 lakh, Odikadze Elizbar (97 kg) Rs.19.2 lakh, Levan Berianidze (125 kg) Rs.17 lakh, Ritu Phogat (48 kg) Rs.14.1 lakh, Odunayo Adekuoroye (53 kg) Rs.17 lakh, Sakshi Malik (58 kg) Rs.12.9 lakh.