This time around the Pro Kabaddi stage is set to be bigger and better, spanning across three months from the 28th of July. It will witness 12 teams lock horns against each other in an entirely new zonal format, with two zones comprising of six teams each. Further, the top three teams from each zone will make the cut for the play-off’s to be held in the last leg of the tournament. But did PKL always take place on such a grand scale?
Rolling back three years in time, the inaugural edition of the Pro Kabaddi League lasted for just over a month with eight teams taking to the mat and the top four in the points tally making it to the play-off stage. At the end of it all, it was the Abhishek Bachchan co-owned franchise Jaipur Pink Panthers which emerged victorious and claimed the coveted title.
Featuring a well-balanced side with strong core players, the Panthers crushed their rivals U Mumba by 11 points in the final encounter, a margin which is huge by the standards of kabaddi.
Now, post the Season 5 auctions, the players have been shuffled across many teams, but we look at where the the winning stars from Season 1 are at the moment.
#1 Jasvir Singh
Referred to as the ‘Smiling Assasin’, Jasvir Singh played an instrumental role in the attack for the Pink Panthers since the beginning of the first edition, amassing a total of 106 raid points.
The diminutive, yet talented and skillful Jasvir showcased the ability of not only snatching a point from under the nose of the rival defence but was also given the responsibility of slowing down the pace of an otherwise fast and energy sapping encounter.
Today, Jasvir is one of the only four players to play for the same team since Season 1, with the Jaipur owners showing their faith in him and buying him back at the auctions prior to the fifth edition.