Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Rahul Chaudhari confirmed as Telugu Titans captain
The new season of the Pro Kabaddi League is all set to commence next month and will feature a record 12 teams – four more than the previous editions. Teams from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Haryana have been added to the roster, which will make the competition the biggest of its kind in the country in terms of number of teams and geographical coverage, overtaking the Indian Premier League (IPL).
It will feature over 130 matches spread across 13 weeks, which will test the players’ fitness levels and will require an increased amount of consistency than previous seasons. The teams have now started training and have camps set up across the country, in preparation for the new campaign.
Last month, the auctions for Season 5 took place, which saw teams start from scratch and build new sides that will head into the new season. Out of the eight existing teams, seven chose to retain a player each ahead of the auction and it was Jaipur Pink Panthers that were the only old side to start from a clean slate.
The Telugu Titans retained star raider Rahul Chaudhari and it will be the man from Bijnor who will lead the side in the upcoming edition of the league. He was chosen ahead of veteran Rakesh Kumar, who was signed for a bargain price in the auction and is an Arjuna awardee and former India captain himself.
Chaudhari is often referred to as the ‘poster boy of Indian kabaddi’ and is the highest point-scorer in the history of the PKL. He is the only player to amass over 500 points across the four seasons and was part of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the inaugural Kabaddi World Cup last year.
The vice-captain is yet to be confirmed, but a good contender for it will be Rakesh Kumar, who has previously plied his trade for U Mumba and the Patna Pirates. The 34-year-old is one of the most experienced players in the sport and is an able leader on the mat. He boasts an enviable average of four raid points per match and is handy in defence as well.