The Pro Kabaddi League: Bracing Ourselves for Unprecedented Action

The Pro Kabaddi League is all set to enter into its seventh season beginning 20th July 2019. With the excitement levels soaring like never before, let us have a glance through a brief history of the league, the major teams and the players to watch out for. 

One of the most widely viewed sports carnivals in India today is the Pro Kabaddi League. The Pro Kabaddi League is a professional level league played in India and is broadcasted on Star Sports.  The league dates its inception in the year 2014 and drew its inspiration from the fact that the Kabaddi tournament at the 2006 Asian Games had received widespread popularity. The format of the tournament is designed in a manner that it has a stark resemblance to the Indian Premier League (IPL). The league is based on a franchise model. The first set of league matches took place in 2014 and composed of matches between eight contending teams.

When the league first started, there was a doubt if a Kabaddi league would really find much popularity among the audiences especially in a nation obsessed with cricket fever but not only did the Kabaddi League successfully replicate the IPL’s business model but also garnered widespread popularity among spectators.

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So far six successful seasons of the PKL have taken place, the last being the 2018 season that featured twelve contending teams. It was also in this season that Monu Goyat became the highest-paid player in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League. He was brought by Haryana Steelers. 

In 2014 the winners were the Jaipur Pink Panthers, in 2015 it was the U Mumba team, in 2016 it was the Patna Pirates who won, in 2017 the Patna Pirates won yet again and in 2018 it was the Bengaluru Bulls that won the title. These matches saw the rise of excellent players like Anup Kumar, Kashiling Adake, Pardeep Narwal, Rahul Chaudhari and Pawan Kumar Sehrawat.  

Taking Kabaddi from India to the World

Thus what will not be incorrect to say is that a once provisional and an unknown pastime of Indians in rural India has once again gained a resurgence through the stylishly marketed franchises,  celebrity owners, reinvented rules and the overflow of quick cash and affluence. Today it enjoys a proud viewership of over 200 million in almost 100 countries across the globe.

What has added to the magic of the Kabaddi League is the fact that it is visceral and easy to comprehend with few rules and the absence of nuanced details.  To score a point, the raider must enter the opponent’s territory, then tag one of the players of the competing team with any part of his body and then safely come back to his own team’s side without allowing the competing team to tackle him to the ground. If he is unable to do this, his team shall lose a point and he is temporarily eliminated from the game. The game is quick, engaging and full of moments of raw physicality and moments of true team spirit!

The Stars of Pro Kabaddi League

The marketing and distribution of the league and its portrayal as a game full of masculine aggressiveness and team spirit have painted the ordinary game of Kabaddi into an altogether new light.  The brand landscape of the Pro Kabaddi League has already produced some of its star-celebrity players such as ‘Captain Cool’ aka the two-time gold medallist at the Asian Games Anup Kumar.

While the Indian teams such as the Haryana Steelers, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Patna Pirates, Bengal Warriors, Gujarat Fortune Giants, Telegu Titans, U Mumba and others seem to be fast establishing their places at the top of the hierarchy, in contrast are the team members of the far less established teams from nations like the US, Poland and Kenya who are largely either novices or transplants from other important sports. 

Fantasy Kabaddi

Now, wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone got the chance to play the Pro Kabaddi League? Well, it might sound quite impossible but Dream11 has actually made it possible for everyone. With its Fantasy Kabaddi being received positively, everyone can now be a part of Pro Kabaddi league and flaunt their Kabaddi knowledge by creating their very own team of players which they desire. With Dream11, you not only get to play Kabaddi but you also have the chance to win exciting prizes for your amazing scores. 

New Season, Renewed Excitement 

With the excitement greater than ever before, the new season of the Pro Kabaddi League is all set to start on July 20, 2019. The first match will be held between the Telegu Titans and the U Mumba teams at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad. The match is sure to be an epic encounter because it will see the Telegu Titans coach Gholamreza Mazandarani and raider Siddharth Desai take on their former sides. The second match on an opening day is scheduled between Bengaluru Bulls and Patna Pirates. This match is being eagerly waited for because it will feature last season’s most loved player Pawan Kumar Sehrawat against stalwart Pardeep Narwal.

Hyderabad is all set to host the opening leg of the league’s new season following which the action will move to Mumbai. The final phase of the league will be held in Greater Noida. The top two teams at the end of the league will qualify for the semi-final 1 and 2, while the four other teams that make it to the Playoffs will battle each other in Eliminator 1 and 2 to decide who advances to the semi-finals. The winners of these two encounters will then compete for the Pro Kabaddi crown in the grand-finale match that would be held on October 19th, 2019. 

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