Prominent Players Abolfazl Maghsoudlou, Meraj Sheykh, Tapas Pal
The Pro Kabaddi League 2018 is all set to raid into our lives, and this franchisee based kabaddi event has certainly helped elevate the status of the age old sport, pushing it into the limelight where it deserves to be. Dabang Delhi might sound quite heavy, but the Capital based Franchise has never lived up to the expectations of the fans. Dabang Delhi team has been a part of the Pro Kabaddi league since its inception in 2014, but has never made it out of the bottom three. Sporting the Navy Blue colors, the team plays its home matches at the 4494 seater Thyagaraj Sporting Complex in New Delhi.
One of the most entertaining all-rounders of the league, Iranian Meraj Sheykh leads the team. Veteran coach Krishan Kumar Hooda has been appointed as the coach. The ex-Indian coach has won an array of medals, leading several state teams and the Country to gold. Time will only tell whether he is the missing piece in Dabang Delhi’s quest for breaking the jinx or not.
Dabang Delhi is owned by Radha Kapoor, under the banner of her own DoIt Sports management company. Although the past seasons were nightmarish for the young owner, she looks to have some hope in this year’s revamped squad with Hooda at the helm. The sole female-owner is symbolic of the feminism surge in the country now.
The Eagles, as they are affectionately called by their fans, have the logo bearing an eagle’s wings with a golden shield. The logo symbolizes the team’s ambition to soar the skies and win wars like the golden warrior who bears the shield.
One of the three North Indian teams, Dabang Delhi has engaged itself in several acts to help the society. It has partnered with CRY - an NGO to help out girl children, Swechha - for plantation and WWF for wildlife conservation among others.
The team also has a major fan-base in the United States.
Trajectory in the PKL
Present right from the inaugural season, Dabang Delhi has forever failed to make an impact in the league, failing every time to reach the finals. It’s highest point was in the first season when it had acquired the 6th place above Bengal Warriors. Since then they have spiralled even further down the ranks, earning measly 7th, 8th and 7th spots in the next three seasons. They had finished last in Zone A in the 2017 edition and had the dubious distinction of earning the lowest points among the competing teams with 38 from 22 matches. This is not a record which would boost the morale of the players and the fans.
This season is quite important for the team. Captained by an energetic Meraj Sheyk and coached by the experienced Krishan Hooda, Delhi’s chances of qualifying from the Zone are better than before
Apart from finishing above Bengal Warriors in the 2014 edition, Dabang Delhi has little to talk about. The team with the lowest win percentage in the league doesn’t have any laurels to talk about.
These exceed the positives by quite some margin. The lack of a proper coach, over reliance on the all-rounders and the inability to form a balanced team has bitten Delhi hard in the past seasons. They never mounted any serious challenge for the title, and were often steam-rolled by the opposition. Seldom did they put up a fight. To be considered as a talking topic, Dabang Delhi needs to find its boots and soon.
Major Players in PKL 2018
Over-reliance on captain Meraj will be there, and the Iranian talisman will have a point to prove. Along with Rajesh Narwal, Delhi’s all-rounders seem to be the key if the team is to drag itself from its pit. Vishal Mane and Ravinder Pahal have to put in their years of experience as defenders. The team lacks a proper raider other than Shabeer Bapu, something which might be costly as the season progresses.