Pro Kabaddi 2022 is currently underway at the Grand Sheraton hotel in Bengaluru, with more than 100 matches of the competition completed. The tournament has so far been equally dominated by raiders and defenders.
Interestingly, the new players have outshone the experienced stars in Pro Kabaddi 2022. The fact that only one of the current top five raiders played in PKL's inaugural season corroborates the aforementioned claim.
The league's first season took place back in 2014. The Jaipur Pink Panthers emerged as champions that year by defeating U Mumba in the final. Almost eight years have passed since that season, and only seven raiders from PKL 1 are playing in the tournament's ongoing eighth edition.
Here's a list of the seven names:
#1 Rahul Chaudhari
The first poster boy of PKL, Rahul Chaudhari, was one of the top raiders of the inaugural season. Playing for the Telugu Titans, he amassed 151 raid points and registered eight Super 10s in the first season.
Chaudhari is currently a member of the Puneri Paltan squad. The star player has struggled to get going in PKL 8, managing only nine raid points in four matches.
#2 Maninder Singh
Maninder Singh is the only raider from Jaipur Pink Panthers' 2014 title-winning team playing in Pro Kabaddi 2022. Singh is the captain of the Bengal Warriors this year. He is one of only two raiders to have scored more than 200 raid points in PKL 8.
The tall raider has 937 raid points in his PKL career so far. It will be interesting to see if he can complete 1,000 raid points before Season 8 ends.
The detailed Pro Kabaddi schedule are available here.
#3 Rishank Devadiga
Rishank Devadiga played for U Mumba in the first PKL season. He scored 77 points and played an important role in the team's raiding department.
This time Devadiga is a part of the Bengal Warriors Pro Kabaddi team. He has played only one game in the ongoing season, scoring only a solitary point.
#4 Sukesh Hegde
Sukesh Hegde donned the Telugu Titans jersey during the inaugural PKL season. Hegde played the supporting raider's role to perfection, scoring 79 raid points for the Titans.
Hegde plays for the Bengal Warriors in Season 8 alongside Rishank Devadiga and Maninder Singh. He has scored 48 raid points in 11 games this season.
#5 Mahendra Ganesh Rajput
Mahendra Ganesh Rajput started his PKL career in 2014 as a member of the Bengal Warriors team, earning 21 points from eight matches.
In Pro Kabaddi 2022, Rajput plays for the Gujarat Giants. He has been an important raider for the team, having scored 33 points in 11 matches.
#6 Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda is regarded by many as the fittest player in PKL 8. The experienced all-rounder started his PKL career in 2014 with the Telugu Titans, scoring 89 points in 14 games.
This year, Hooda is representing the Jaipur Pink Panthers. The star raider has earned 109 points in 15 matches of Pro Kabaddi 2022.
#7 Prashanth Kumar Rai
Another raider who played for the Telugu Titans in the first season and is a member of a different team in Pro Kabaddi 2022 is Prashanth Kumar Rai. He was not a regular member of the Titans team in Season 1 as he scored only five points in PKL 2014.
Rai is currently captaining the Patna Pirates. He has led the team from the front, scoring 85 points in 16 matches, to take them to the No. 1 spot in the Pro Kabaddi points table.