The fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League is all set to start on July 28 and preparations are underway in the team camps as the sides get set for the latest edition. The winners of the inaugural edition, the Jaipur Pink Panthers, have made some stunning buys in the auction, which included all-rounder Manjeet Chhillar, who has now been confirmed as the captain of the franchise.
The news was confirmed by veteran coach Balwan Singh, who led the Indian side to World Cup victory last year, and will look to lead the Jaipur side for their second title in Season 5. The Panthers are owned by actor Abhishek Bachchan and are managed by GS Entertainment Worldwide.
In the first season, Jaipur lifted the trophy after defeating Anup Kumar-led U Mumba in the final, where they won 10 out of their 14 league outings. However, the failed to qualify for the playoffs in the next two – finishing fifth and sixth in Season 2 and 3 respectively. In the last one, they reached the final and lost to the Patna Pirates in a thrilling final.
Prior to the auction, the existing teams were allowed to retain a player each and the side from the Pink City were the only ones not to retain any player. On day 1, they made a splash by signing Manjeet Chhillar for a whopping Rs 75.50 lakhs.
They re-signed raider Jasvir Singh for the new season at a bargain price of Rs 51 lakhs, making him just one out of four players to play for the same team across the five seasons. He was another contender for the captain’s role given how he led the team last season, but it is understandable why Manjeet was chosen.
The squad also boasts of two other veterans, in the form of Arjuna awardee Navneet Gautam, who was the captain in their first season and defender Somvir Shekhar, who has played for Patna, Bengaluru and Pune.
Here is the Jaipur squad:
Ajit Singh (Raider), Jasvir Singh (Raider), Kamal Kishor (Raider), Pawan Kumar Kadian (Raider), Rahul Choudhary (Raider), Selvamani K (Raider), Sunil Siddhgavali (Raider), Tushar Patil (Raider), Jae Min Lee (Defender), Manoj Dhull (Defender), Navneet Gautam (Defender), Ravinder Kumar (Defender), Somvir Shekhar (Defender), Vignesh B (Defender), Abhishek N. (All Rounder), Dong Gyu Kim (All Rounder), Manjeet Chhillar (All Rounder), Santhapanaselvam (All Rounder), Siddharth (All Rounder)Published 30 Jun 2017, 17:41 IST