VIVO Pro Kabaddi League: Season 6 is coming back, bigger and better
While the people all over India are drenched in the colors of IPL, the date of the sixth edition of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) along with the list of retained players is already out.
The last season of PKL saw a rapid increase in the number of fans. Four new teams were introduced, making the league the biggest in India. PKL also holds the record of being India's highest-rated non-cricket event on TV.
Season 5 witnessed an unprecedented rise in the viewership, which was a remarkable achievement made by the league. League Commissioner Anupam Goswami said, “The league is strongly in favor of team stability and instituting it at a policy level to enable strong team structures.”
As the new season's date is revealed, fans all over India are talking about the choices made by the 12 teams and have started looking forward to the upcoming season.
The new season will be bigger and better
Season 5 auction, which was held in Delhi saw over 350 players go under the hammer, out of which 52 were from the Young Players’ category. They were bought by the 12 respective franchises out of which players like Sachin and Rohit Gulia outshone a lot of players in the league.
KBD junior was also introduced last season which featured a lot of young and passionate players sharing the mat with their favorite kabaddi heroes. Young kids from 12 schools all across the country competed for the kabaddi junior's trophy.
“India has truly embraced kabaddi. This season was all about pushing boundaries. With an expanded league, there were 12 teams competing in more than 130 matches, spread across 13 weeks. The love for Kabaddi cutting across geographies is self-evident. It is extremely heartening to see this response from millions of fans across the country, which has emphatically re-established Kabaddi’s position as the most watched non-cricket sport synonymous with the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League,” said Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India about this remarkable feat.
This time, we will get to see a lot of new players selected from the Khelo India initiative and Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) which will encourage more and more young population of India to watch the rapidly increasing league.
The Future Kabaddi Heroes was conducted across 18 cities, starting with Mumbai on 26th February 2018, followed by Chennai, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Thrissur, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Lucknow, Vishakhapatnam, Patna, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Indore, Imphal, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar and Ahmedabad to find the Kabaddi talent that the country has to offer.
We got information from the sources that more local players from different states will make a debut in the approaching season. The number of fans is increasing whether be it the young or the old, everyone is excited about the upcoming league and the enthusiasm shown by them is great. Here are the list and analytics of players retained by the teams.
The list of retained players:
Patna Pirates have retained resolute player Pardeep Narwal, the Dubki King, who bagged the best player award last season. He also broke all the records made by other players. Retaining Pardeep is a no-brainer decision made by Patna's franchise.
The three times champions have also retained their defender Jaideep, who pitched in a lot in the team's win. He was the best defender of the team in season 5.
They have also retained the all-rounders Jawahar Dagar and Vijay Malik who played exceptionally well last season. The defending champions have also retained their defender Manish.
It was a surprise for us as Monu Goyat's name was missing from the list of the retained players. Patna's fans would have loved to see him pairing up with Pardeep, but not retaining him can rather be a strategy made by the team.
Gujarat Fortune Giants
The season 5 runners-up have retained young talent this time. They have retained the Sachin Tanwar, who proved to be the most promising raider in PKL 5 by scoring 159 raid points in his debut season.
Sunil Kumar and Mahendra Ganesh Rajput have also been retained by the team, who showed their best game in PKL 5.
Fazel Atrachali, who is one of the best defenders in the league has not been retained by the team. This came as a surprise to all the Gujarat fans. Last season's team captain Sukesh Hegde was also missing from the list.
Pune's franchise has selected its players with a great strategy. Sandeep Narwal, who is one of the best all-rounders in the league, has been retained by the team. Rajesh Mondal, GB More along with Girish Maruti Ernak have also been retained by the team.
Young players like Vikash Khatri, Rinku Narwal and Monu due to their remarkable game last season, have been retained by Puneri Paltan.
Deepak Hooda, who has been playing in Puneri Paltan since season 3 is not retained by Pune's franchise. It is surprising as Deepak performed really well in season 5.
Bengal Warriors played really well last season as they finished at the third place. They have retained their two biggest strengths, Surjeet Singh, the captain of the team and an amazing defender along with Maninder Singh, who was back in form in PKL 5 after a long break of 3 seasons.
Bengal Warriors made a clever decision by retaining the best raider and the best defender of the team.
Bengaluru Bulls played smart this time by retaining Rohit Kumar, the best raider of their team and one of the top raiders of the league who scored a massive 219 raid points last season.
Rohit Kumar being retained was quite expected as he is one of the finest players in the league.
Dabang Delhi selected carefully and retained Meraj Sheykh, who has proved himself as the best foreign all-rounder in the league. Retaining him is indeed a smart move made by the team.
Tamil Thalaivas have retained Ajay Thakur, who was in wonderful form especially during the last parts of season 5. He scored a total of 213 raid points.
Defender Amit Hooda has also been retained by the team. He played a great game last season and was the best defender of the team. Big players like Pardeep Narwal struggled in front of him. Defender C. Arun has also been retained by the Tamil Thalaivas.
Haryana Steelers have retained the all-rounder Kuldeep Singh, who played really well for his team last season.
The absence of Surender Nada and Mohit Chillar rather disappointed us as they are the best defender duo in the league.
Telegu Titans have retained the Irani raider Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari. They have also retained Nilesh Salunke, who has been playing really well for Telegu Titans since the last two seasons.
Rahul Chaudhari not retained came to us as the biggest shock. The Poster Boy of PKL has been playing for Telegu Titans since season 1 and he is the only player to cross the milestone of 700 points. We are really not sure about the strategy made by the team as losing him can affect the team's performance badly.
Teams with no retained players
U Mumba, Jaipur Pink Panthers along with UP Yoddhas did not retain any player from the team of season 5.
Several players go unnoticed
It was rather a big shocker for the fans as players like Anup Kumar, Rahul Chaudhari, Monu Goyat, Deepak Hooda, Fazel Atrachali, Manjeet Chillar, Jasvir Singh, Nitin Tomar, Surendra Nada, Mohit Chillar and National's champion Rishank Devadiga have not been retained by their teams.
The auction is going to witness some real action this time; it is quite obvious that the upcoming season will see some massive changes in the teams as well as claims to be the most unpredictable season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League.
The 6th edition of India's biggest league will start from 19th October this year, after the Asian Games, which will take place in August.