Unlike most of the other states in India, Bihar is not really known for sports. But with the introduction of the Pro Kabaddi League, Patna Pirates were set out to change that. And they changed it in some style – With three consecutive PKL titles! The Pirates are the most successful team in the league with three championships in six seasons so far.
With semi-final appearances in the first two seasons and three consecutive titles in the next three seasons, Patna Pirates are well and truly the CSK of the Pro Kabaddi League. (Or MI for the Mumbai supporters). But they failed to make it to the playoffs last season and will be hell-bent to change it in the seventh season. So here is everything you need to know about the Patna Pirates before the latest edition of PKL kicks-off:
About Patna Pirates
|Owner||Rajesh V. Shah|
|Coach||Ram Mehar Singh|
|Home Ground||Patliputra Sports Complex, Patna, Bihar|
Patna Pirates Team 2019
|Player||Playing Position||Age||Price (₹ Lakhs)|
|Jaideep||Defender - Left Corner||27||55|
|Surender Nada||Defender - Left Corner||77|
|Neeraj Kumar||Defender - Right Cover||24||44.75|
|Mahendra Choudhary||Defender - Right Corner||21||6|
|Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsodlou||Raider||27||35|
|Jang Kun Lee||Raider||26||40|
History: Patna Pirates
The Pirates were one of the eight founding members of the Pro Kabaddi League in 2014. They have since been the constant performers in the league, throughout six seasons.
The team created history at the very first auction as they bought Rakesh Kumar for ₹12.8 lakh, the most expensive player of the first auction of PKL. With their second title in July 2016, the Pirates become the first team to defend the PKL crown and a year later, they became the first team to complete the hat-trick.
Owners of Patna Pirates
Patna Pirates is owned by Rajesh V Shah, the co-chairman and managing director of ‘Mukund’, the company which specializes in Steel and machine building. Mr. Shah, the industrialist, is an alumnus of the famous Harvard and Cambridge University.
Sponsors of Patna Pirates
Birla Gold Premium Cement are Patna Pirate’s title sponsors with their name in front of the team’s jersey. 4U Sports are the kit manufacturers for the team. Gold’s Gym are the fitness partners, Pace International are the apparel sponsors and Big FM are the radio sponsors of the team from Bihar. The Pirates also have their merchandise on GalaxT.com.
Coach of Patna Pirates
Veteran Kabaddi coach, Ram Meher Singh has played a crucial role in Patna’s success over the years and he will continue to do so for the seventh season.
Singh had a successful career as a player before he turned to coaching. He won the Gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games and captained India to yet another Gold in 2002.
The coach has since worked with Air Force and Services team and was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2012 for his contribution to Kabaddi. Ram Singh was appointed as the coach of the National Kabaddi team for the 2018 Asian Games, where India won the bronze medal.
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Performance in PKL
As mentioned before, the Pirates are the most successful team in the Pro Kabaddi League, winning the title on three consecutive occasions. They made it to the semi-finals in the first two seasons but failed to go through to the final. But with three titles in the next three seasons, they more than made up for the first two seasons. The 2018 season was the first time the Pirates failed to qualify for the playoffs.
In the inaugural season of the PKL, Patna just about managed to qualify for the semi-final, finishing 4th, just three points ahead of Telugu Titans. The Pirates won 7 of their 14 games in the group stage to set up a semi-final against Jaipur Pink Panthers.
The eventual champions were simply too good for the Pirates, winning the semi-final 38-18. Patna bounced back to win the third-place game 29-22 against Bengaluru Bulls.
Not much changed for the Pirates in the second season of the PKL. They finished 4th in the group stages once again – three points ahead of Jaipur Pink Panthers this time – A small revenge for the semi-final loss in 2014.
But the spot in the final once again eluded them as they lost a semi-final 18-35 to U Mumba. This time around, the Pirates failed in the third-place game, losing 26-34 to Telugu Titans.
After first two seasons of ‘so close yet so far’, the third season of the PKL was the start of the dominance of the Pirates. After finishing fourth in the group stages in the first two seasons, Patna were dominant in the group stages of the third seasons.
They won 10 of the 14 games in the first phase of the tournament, finishing second on the table. Patna finally got rid of their semi-final hoodoo as well, beating Puneri Paltan 40-21 in the semi-final.
In their first ever final of the PKL, Patna defeated U Mumba, the defending champions, 31-28 to get their hands on the trophy. It was the start of the ‘Pirtaes Era’ in the Pro Kabaddi League.
Pardeep Narwal, playing for Patna Pirates for the very first time, was the most successful raider with 116 raid-points. Little did we know, the then 19-year old would go on to become the best raider in the PKL history. Sandeep Narwal was Patna’s best defender with 55 tackle points, second best in the league.
There was no stopping Patna in the fourth season as well with Pardeep Narwal leading the attack once again. The Pirates finished first in the group stages, winning 10 of the 14 games.
Patna defeated Puneri Paltan in the semi-final for the second consecutive time, winning the game 37-33. The champions faced Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final where they had a chance to become the first team to defend the PKL title.
The Pirates won the final 37-29, winning their second consecutive title, thus becoming the most successful team in the short history of the league.
Pardeep Narwal was at his best once again, winning 131 raid-points, second best in the league. Fazel Atrachali led Patna’s defense with 52 tackle points, best in the league.
Four new teams were added to the Pro Kabaddi League for the fifth season, the format changed with six teams each in two zones and playoffs became a little trickier as well. But nothing could stop Patna Pirates from completing the hat-trick!
The Pirates were drafted in Zone B for the group stages. They won 10 of their 22 games, lost 7 and tied 5. But with 71 points, Patna finished second in Zone B and qualified for the playoffs – for the fifth consecutive time.
Patna faced a difficult challenge in playoffs as they finished second in the table. To qualify for the final, they had to win two eliminators and then a qualifier. In their first eliminator against Haryana Steelers, Patna completely crushed the newbies, winning 69-30. In the next eliminator, Patna defeated Pune 42-32, knocking the Paltan out for the third consecutive time.
Patna defeated Bengal Warriors 47-44 in the qualifier to qualify for the third consecutive final. Gujarat Fortune Giants, who had been absolutely fantastic throughout the season, finishing first in Zone A and winning their qualifier with ease, were blown away by the Pirates in the final. Pirates won 55-38 to bag their third PKL title.
Pardeep Narwal was an absolute beast once again, winning 369 raid-points throughout the season. The second best in the league was more than 100 points behind Pardeep, such was the raider’s dominance.
After three triumphant seasons and making it to the playoffs in all five seasons, the Pirates failed to keep the streak going in 2018. Playing in Zone B, the Patna finished 4th in the group stage, just two points behind the third-placed team. They won 9 of their 22 games but lost 11 games, which cost them in the end.
The Pirates didn’t really go all out in the 2019 auction, retaining their important players and also investing in a few young players. The team retained Pardeep Narwal, Vikas Jaglan, and Jawahar Dagar for the seventh season. Surender Nada was Patna’s most expensive player at ₹ 77 lakh.
Patna Pirates is one of the very few teams to have two home grounds. The team’s main home ground is Patliputra Sports Complex at Patna. But due to their popularity in Ranchi, Jharkhand, the franchise also has a secondary home ground Harivansh Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium situated at Ranchi.
कुछ ही दिनों में होने वाला है #PirateHamla, क्यूंकि वीवो प्रो कबड्डी लीग सीज़न 7⃣ होने वाला है शुरू। ??
ये रहे पायरेट्स के फिक्सचर्स ?? pic.twitter.com/ty3DtyLucM
— Patna Pirates (@PatnaPirates) June 21, 2019
The Pirates will look to bounce back from their failure to qualify for the playoffs in 2018. Captain Pardeep Narwal is the highest raid-point scorer in PKL’s history and remains the most crucial player of the team. Patna will start their campaign on 20th July against the defending champions Bengaluru Bulls.