Pro Kabaddi 2022: List of players who have won the MVP award

Anup Kumar won the MVP award in season 1 of the PKL?
Anup Kumar won the MVP award in season 1 of the Pro Kabaddi League

We're 10 days away from the start of the ninth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League. Fans are anticipating another competitive season with many teams in the running to lift the PKL trophy.

Dabang Delhi KC will come into the tournament as the defending champions, with Naveen Kumar their key once again.

The two-time Most Valuable Player award winner will look to make it a hat-trick of wins on that front. But rest assured, he will have a lot of competition for that prestigious award. With that said, let's take a walk down memory lane and review the list of players who have won the MVP award in seasons past.

#1 2014 - Anup Kumar (U Mumba)

Anup Kumar, who was one of the flagbearers of the inaugural edition of the Pro Kabaddi League, was the MVP of Season 1. Captain of the U Mumba side that finished runners-up, Anup starred both as the lead raider for his side and as captain.

Anup ended the season with 155 raid points in 16 matches, averaging almost ten points per match. While U Mumba lost 35-24 to the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final, Anup's performances were brilliant enough to make him the first-ever Pro Kabaddi League MVP award winner.

Anup plied his trade for U Mumba for four more seasons before switching to the Jaipur Pink Panthers in Season 6. Post that, he announced his retirement and has been the coach of Puneri Paltan since Season 7.

#2 2015- Manjeet Chillar (Bengaluru Bulls)

Season 2 of the Pro Kabaddi League ranks as one of its best in terms of the competition offered. We saw some truly inspired performances on the mat from some of the sport's best players and one of them was Manjeet Chillar. A pillar of a strong Bengaluru Bulls side, Manjeet put in a strong all-round display to win the MVP award.

Scoring 67 raid points and 40 tackle points in only 16 matches, Manjeet finished the season in the top 10 rankings for both raiders and defenders and is the only player to do so to date. After playing for many other Pro Kabaddi League teams, Manjeet retired after guiding Dabang Delhi KC to a title win in PKL 8.

He's working with the Telugu Titans as an assistant coach ahead of Pro Kabaddi 2022.

#3 Early 2016 - Rohit Kumar (Patna Pirates)

The Patna Pirates' ascent began in Season 3 when they won the first of three consecutive PKL titles. That season saw the rise of two PKL superstars, Pardeep Narwal and Rohit Kumar. While Pardeep topped the point-scorers charts with 116 raid points in 16 matches, Rohit also starred for the Pirates, scoring 102 raid points in only 12 matches to win the MVP award.

Post that terrific performance, he was bought by the Bengaluru Bulls ahead of Season 4. He spent four seasons with the Bulls, captaining them to the title in PKL 6. He switched to the Telugu Titans ahead of Season 8, but couldn't make much of an impact playing for them.

Despite being unsold at the auction, Rohit was drafted by the Gujarat Giants ahead of Pro Kabaddi 2022.

#4 June-July 2016 - Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates)

'Record Breaker' Pardeep Narwal entered his prime Season 4 onwards. While Rahul Chaudhari finished the season as the highest point-scorer, Pardeep bagged the MVP award for his impressive raiding contributions that helped his side claim a second successive title.

Pardeep scored 131 raid points in 16 matches as Patna beat the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the Finals to successfully defend their title. The 'Record Breaker' is by no means done and is currently playing for UP Yoddha, after getting bought back at the PKL 9 auction for ₹90 Lakhs.

#5 2017- Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates)

Pardeep carried his blistering run of form into Season 5 as the Pirates won a hat-trick of titles. Season 5 was unlike anything else before, with four new franchises joining the fray. In a mammoth, record-breaking season, Pardeep picked up a phenomenal 369 raid points in 26 matches, the Pro Kabaddi League record for most points scored in a single season.

He was a whopping 150 raid points clear of second-placed Rohit Kumar on the list and was rightfully adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the season.

#6 2018 - Pawan Kumar Sehrawat (Bengaluru Bulls)

It required something special to stop the Patna and Pardeep juggernaut, and the Bengaluru Bulls and Pawan Sehrawat stepped up to do just that. Pawan played for the Bulls in seasons three and four but moved to the Gujarat Giants in season five before getting released by them.

However, neither of the two franchises predicted what followed. Pawan Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar took the league by storm as the Bengaluru Bulls pulverized their opponents. Pawan finished season six as the outright highest point-scorer, picking up 271 raid points in 24 matches. The Bulls beat the Gujarat Giants in the final to win their first PKL title.

Pawan recently won a historic ₹2.26 Crore move to Tamil Thalaivas, who he'll be representing in PKL 9.

#7 2019- Naveen Kumar (Dabang Delhi KC)

Even as Pawan continued his stellar run of form, it was Naveen Kumar who won the MVP Award in Pro Kabaddi Season 7. Dabang Delhi made it to their first ever final but lost to the Bengal Warriors. Nevertheless, Naveen's 301 raid points in 23 matches won him the award over Pawan.

The youngster made his PKL debut in Season 6, scoring 172 raid points in what was a solid first season. He's currently the lead raider for Dabang Delhi KC as the side head into Season 9 as the defending champions.

#8 2021- Naveen Kumar (Dabang Delhi KC)

Naveen picked up where he left off post the pandemic break, spearheading his side's charge in Season 8 of the Pro Kabaddi League.

While Pawan finished the season as the highest point-scorer once more, it was Naveen who won the Most Valuable Player award. Despite suffering a mid-season knee injury, Naveen scored 207 raid points in only 17 matches, helping the side win their maiden PKL title.

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Edited by Puranjay