Pro Kabaddi 2022 ended earlier tonight, 17 December, in Mumbai. Jaipur Pink Panthers beat Puneri Paltan in the final to win their second PKL championship. With this match, the ninth edition of the league is officially in the history books.
The season started on 7 October in Bengaluru with a match between Dabang Delhi KC and U Mumba. 132 matches later, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Puneri Paltan, Bengaluru Bulls, UP Yoddhas, Tamil Thalaivas, and Dabang Delhi KC emerged as the top 6 teams of the season.
Jaipur and Pune made it to the final, where the former won 33-29. Now that the season has ended, here's a look at the best-playing seven from the tournament.
Raiders - Arjun Deshwal, Bharat Hooda, and Naveen Kumar
Arjun Deshwal was the number one raider of Pro Kabaddi 2022. The Jaipur Pink Panthers star topped the raiders' leaderboard with 296 raid points from 24 matches. He was the backbone of the Jaipur team and helped them win many matches in the tournament.
To understand the brilliance of his performance in PKL 9 better, it's worthwhile to note that Arjun scored 17 Super 10s and executed seven super raids in the tournament. He maintained a phenomenal average of 12.33 raid points per match. His raid success rate was also more than 50 percent.
Joining Deshwal in the raiding unit of this team will be Bengaluru Bulls' Bharat Hooda and Dabang Delhi KC's Naveen Kumar. Both Bharat and Naveen led the raid attacks for their respective franchises in Pro Kabaddi 2022.
Bharat finished second on the leaderboard with 279 raid points in 23 matches. Naveen was right behind him with 254 raid points. Both Bharat and Naveen registered 16 Super 10s each.
Defenders - Ankush Rathee, Sunil Kumar, Vishal Lather, and Rinku Sharma
Ankush Rathee won the Best Defender award for his top-quality defense in Pro Kabaddi 2022. Playing his debut season for the Jaipur Pink Panthers, Rathee tormented the opposition raiders while playing in the left corner position. He scored 89 tackle points in 24 matches, averaging close to four tackle points per game.
Jaipur Pink Panthers captain Sunil Kumar and Dabang Delhi KC's Vishal Lather will form the cover combination of this team. Kumar led the Jaipur-based franchise from the front, earning 64 tackle points in 23 matches. He recorded a match-winning High 5 in the final.
Lather was the best left-cover defender of the season. The Dabang Delhi KC star finished seventh on the leaderboard with 58 tackle points from 22 matches. His team did not qualify for the semifinals, otherwise he could have ended with more than 60 points.
The final player of this playing seven is U Mumba's right-corner defender Rinku Sharma. He was the standout performer for the Mumbai-based franchise this season, earning 59 tackle points in just 19 matches. Sharma will play in the corner position with Ankush Rathee for this team.
Best Playing 7 of Pro Kabaddi 2022
Arjun Deshwal (Center), Bharat Hooda (Left In), Naveen Kumar (Right In), Ankush Rathee (Left Corner), Sunil Kumar (Right Cover and Captain), Vishal Lather (Left Cover) and Rinku Sharma (Right Corner).