The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is one of the most-followed tournaments in India. The league started in 2014 with eight teams. Over the years, the number of teams has increased to 12, while the number of matches has gone up significantly as well.
Just like the Indian Premier League (IPL) brought about a revolution in the world of cricket, the Pro Kabaddi League also changed the landscape of kabaddi. Today, the kabaddi players earn massive deals from the franchises, while some of the biggest brands in the world have associated themselves with the PKL.
The Pro Kabaddi League and the Indian Premier League have a lot of common fans. In this article, we will list down the PKL teams and their IPL equivalents in terms of successes and performances.
#1 Jaipur Pink Panthers - Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural edition of the IPL. Rajasthan-based Jaipur Pink Panthers emerged as the champions of the PKL in its first season.
Interestingly, neither the Rajasthan Royals nor the Jaipur Pink Panthers have won any championships since then. Both teams made it to the finals once after winning the title but lost.
#2 U Mumba - Chennai Super Kings
U Mumba and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have many similarities. Both made it to the finals of the first season but lost to a franchise from Rajasthan. Both teams had a 'Captain Cool' as their leader - MS Dhoni and Anup Kumar. The captain of the franchise also won a World Cup while leading India.
CSK refrained from making many changes when Dhoni was the captain. In the same way, Anup played with the same playing seven in almost all matches. U Mumba are undergoing a transition now, and even CSK will soon have new faces in the team.
#3 Puneri Paltan - Punjab Kings
Puneri Paltan and Punjab Kings are two teams which have played in all seasons of the PKL and the IPL respectively, but they have never won the championships.
Both teams are famous for signing big names. They have even made it to the top 4 multiple times. However, the title has so far eluded them.
#4 Bengaluru Bulls - SunRisers Hyderabad
Bengaluru Bulls and SunRisers Hyderabad have been very consistent teams. They have won the championship once. They have also lost in the finals once.
Hyderabad let go of their main player David Warner before the IPL 2022 Auction. Similarly, Bengaluru released their star raider Pawan Sehrawat ahead of the PKL 2022 Auction.
#5 Patna Pirates - Mumbai Indians
Patna Pirates and Mumbai Indians (MI) are the most successful teams of their respective leagues. The Patna-based franchise is a three-time champion of the Pro Kabaddi, while MI have won five IPL trophies.
It seems highly unlikely that any of the other teams will be able to break the records of Patna and Mumbai in the near future.
#6 UP Yoddhas - Royal Challengers Bangalore
UP Yoddhas and Royal Challengers Bangalore have made it to the playoffs regularly. However, both franchises are yet to lay their hands on the trophy. PKL's most successful raider Pardeep Narwal plays for the Yoddhas. IPL's highest run-getter Virat Kohli is a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
RCB failed to win the title this year as well. It will be interesting to see if the Yoddhas can end their Pro Kabaddi title drought in 2022.
#7 Tamil Thalaivas - Pune Warriors
Judging their performances in the previous Pro Kabaddi seasons, Tamil Thalaivas have a similar track record as the now-defunct IPL team - Pune Warriors. The Thalaivas have always finished last or second-last in the PKL standings. Similarly, Pune finished in the bottom two during their three years in the tournament.
Besides, both teams signed a superstar of Indian sports at the start. Ajay Thakur joined the Tamil Thalaivas, while the Pune Warriors had roped in Yuvraj Singh.
#8 Bengal Warriors - Kolkata Knight Riders
Bengal Warriors and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) represent the same region in their respective leagues. Both teams struggled in the initial seasons of the league but bounced back to win the championship later.
Andre Russell first started with the Delhi Capitals before becoming the MVP of KKR. Similarly, Maninder Singh started his Pro Kabaddi career with the Jaipur Pink Panthers before becoming the biggest match winner for the Bengal Warriors.
#9 Telugu Titans - Delhi Daredevils
The Delhi franchise of the IPL was known as the Delhi Daredevils from 2008 to 2018. The Daredevils finished in the top four in three seasons but remained at the bottom of the standings for most of the other seasons.
Similarly, the Telugu Titans have qualified for the Pro Kabaddi playoffs twice but finished in the lower half of the points table for the majority of the seasons. Neither the Delhi Daredevils nor the Telugu Titans have made it to a final despite signing some big names.
The other three teams in the PKL - Gujarat Giants, Haryana Steelers and Dabang Delhi KC - do not have enough similarities with any IPL teams.