The Panjim Gymkhana Members League auction, the first ever auction of its kind of cricket players in Goa, saw the five teams – Baale Tigers, Dempo Challengers, Manas Mavericks, LPK 11 and Prescon Panthers – battle it out for 109 of the state’s cricket players.
Joseph Rodrigues began the auctioneer proceedings by making clear the rules of the process. What followed next was a test of business skills and a fight between the teams to pick the players of their choice.
Promising junior state player, 17 year old Aryan Mashelkar was picked by Team Dempo Challengers.
Cricketer Mukhtar Kadri bagged the highest bid offer of 45 lakh points. He will be playing for Dempo Challengers. Player Devidas Kholkar came second with a bid offer of 42.4 lakh points and went to LPK 11. Player Dattesh Priolkar came a close third with an offer of 42.2 lakh points made by Manas Mavericks. State player Manish Pai Kakode the 18 year old had the fourth highest bid with 40.25 lakh points and was successfully bought by LPK 11 following a fierce round of bidding between LPK 11 and Dempo Challengers.
The team jerseys were unveiled at the auction by the team owners – Ashwin Chandiok Team Owner Baale Tigers; Tanmay Kholkar Team Owner Manas Mavericks; Nandan Kudchadkar Team Owner LPK 11; Vinay Kedia Team Owner Prescon Panthers and Shrinivas V. Dempo Team Owner Dempo Challengers – in the presence of Shekhar Sardessai, MD, Kineco who are the league sponsors and the governing council of Panjim Gymkhana.
“This is one of the first attempts to form a T-20 league exclusively. The auction which was the first of its kind to be conducted in the state witnessed the five teams battle it out to select from among the best players up for auction. The Panjim Gymkhana governing council has a shared vision to take this league to a whole new level of competitiveness and excitement. The auction was completed successfully and the team are now finalised,”said Manoj Caculo, President, Panjim Gymkhana.
“The stage is now set for the league which will kick off in Jan 2022 and bring together cricket fans and supporters to come and witness the teams in action at the prestigious Panjim Gymkhana cricket ground in Panjim”, honorary secretary of the Panjim Gymkhana, Rajesh Khaunte said.
Dempo Challengers team owner Shrinivas Dempo said, “We are very excited to be part of this league. The auction was meticulously and well organised. There is a lot of interest and passion in the tournament which was visible at the auction. The player selection in teams is a combination of technique, experience and stamina along with aggression which is good for the game. We are sure people will come forward to support players and the league. ”
Iftikar Agha of Prescon Panthers said,”This Panjim Gymkhana league is Goa’s version of the IPL. Its a fantastic concept and is slated to take off well in its very first year. ”
Speaking about the cricket ground, Ashwin Chandiok Team Owner Baale Tigers, “This is among one of the best cricket grounds in the country especially since it is located along the river and has a rich legacy. The players are looking forward to playing here”.
Said Nandan Kudchadkar Team Owner LPK 11, “The league celebrates the spirit of the game of cricket above all else. This beautiful ground will bring people together through this cricket league”.
Added Tanmay Kholkar Team Owner Manas Mavericks, “The teams will play a competitive game on the pitch. All the teams have spent a considerable time to plan out the strategy in team selection for the auction and subsequent training sessions.”
The much anticipated cricket league is scheduled to kick-off in the second week of January 2022, where the five teams will battle for supremacy in the league, which will be played in a round robin format.
The inaugural game of the tournament will be played on 8th January, 2022.
Located along the picturesque Mandovi River, the Panjim Gymkhana, established in 1963, has been recognized as one of the oldest and premier sports clubs and is considered as the nursery of cricket in Goa.