In its seventh season, the Pro Kabaddi League 2019 is grander than ever. Here is all you know about PKL
After its inception in the year 2014, the Pro Kabaddi League has grown into the biggest kabaddi league in the World within no time. With the exponential growth in viewership and popularity in Fantasy Sports (majorly through Dream11), Pro Kabaddi League now counts for the most-watched Indian Sports League outside of IPL. PKL also ranks top in reach vs impressions chart among the non-cricket sports content in India, proving the immense potential of Kabaddi as a youth-oriented Sport. Kabaddi, finds its roots in the Indian history, Kabaddi.
As a sport, Kabaddi has certainly been rekindled with the introduction of the PKL. The institutionalisation of PKL literally altered the fundamentality of Kabaddi in India from a village sport to unbridled action for a global audience. Popular names from various fields such as cinema, politics have played a huge role in the Pro Kabaddi League’s growth.
History: Pro Kabaddi League 2019
After the huge success of Indian Premier League launched in 2008 and its rise through the early 2010s, brands started to realise the potential of marketing through sports in India. With a population of over 1.25 billion constituting a youth majority, India is among the fastest-growing economies. And global brands are always looking for opportunities to benefit in the growth of such economies.
In the early 2010s, Indian Sports Industry started booming with the launch of new independent leagues in the ecosystem, providing a band of opportunities for global brands to amplify their reach. Leagues like Hockey India League, Indian Super League and Premier Badminton League suddenly flooded the Indian Sports industry in 2013. Although they received a decent response, none of them could make it big.
The Pro Kabaddi League entered the Indian sports industry in 2014. Mashaal Sports acquired the rights to organise an indoor version of the Kabaddi from the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) and founded the Pro Kabaddi League. Mashaal Sports is a company co-founded by Mr Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Mr Charu Sharma. This was a bold move considering the fact that many leagues failed to copy IPL’s success the very previous year. However, PKL was welcomed with great traction as Kabaddi turned out to be widely popular in the grassroots community settings in both urban and rural India.
PKL made a dream start by gaining a viewership of 435 million in a 37-day event. This was a huge figure in 2014. For comparison, IPL 2014 attracted 552 million viewers in the 46 days tournament. After this blockbuster entry, Star Sports acquired 74% stakes of Mashaal Sports, thus owning the PKL from then on. After the official announcement, Star India Chief Executive Uday Shankar said, “At STAR India, we believe in putting our energy and resources behind properties that tick four boxes: ambition, honour, bring value to society and have some commercial value.”
First Season: Pro Kabaddi League 2019
On 20 May 2014, the inaugural auction of players for the 8 participating teams in Pro Kabaddi League was held in Mumbai. These 8 teams were owned by some familiar Indian personalities including actor, producer, Abhishek Bachchan. The auction saw Rakesh Kumar, India’s then National captain as the most expensive player, bought by Patna Pirates for ₹12.80 lakhs. He was followed by Deepak Nivas bought by Telugu Titans for ₹12.60 lakh. The highest-paid foreign player was Tae DeokEom bought by Pirates for ₹7 lakhs.
The first season lasted 37 days from 26 July 2014 to 31 August 2014.
The opening game between U Mumbai and Jaipur Pink Panthers saw a rematch in the finals on August 31 at Mumbai. The Pink Panthers defeated U Mumba in the finals by 11 points to bag the first title of PKL. Through the season, Pink Panthers won 10 matches out of 14. Maninder Singh and Jasvir Singh led the team attack combining for 236 raid points for the side. Arjun Awardee Navneet Gautam and Ran Singh had a commendable contribution in the defence throughout the season.
The championship game was viewed by 86.4 million, adding it to 435 million viewers for the inaugural season. This massive insurgence saw major growth in the brand value of the league. In fact, Star Sports acquired 74% stakes in PKL’s parent company, Mashaal Sports after this tremendous season.
Format: Pro Kabaddi League 2019
The league follows normal indoor kabaddi rules with some improvisation to encourage high scoring games. A ‘do or die raid’ is triggered after 2 empty raids. In this, the player must score a point or else shall be declared out automatically. Tackles with 3 or fewer players left on court counts for double the points (2 instead of 1), called a Super Tackle.
The first season followed the double round-robin format with each team playing every other 7 twice during the season. This followed 2 semi-finals, a third-place game and the Finals.
This format continued till Season 4 but after the addition of 4 new teams in the next season, organisers tried to make the bigger season as indulging and challenging as possible. Since season 5, the 12 teams are divided into 2 divisions, Zone A and B with 6 teams in each according to the region. Each team now plays 15 intra-zone games, thrice with rest 5 teams of their zone and 6 inter-zone games, once with every team in the opposite zone.
Also Read | Complete list of all the Pardeep Narwal records
The league does not end here as there is one wild-card inter-zone game left which is drawn randomly for each team. Thus every team now plays 22 games in the regular season. This is followed by playoff games between the top 3 teams of both zones. Now, playoffs are structured such that the top team of both zones plays qualifier 1 one for the PKL Finals. The winner gets first place in the Finals and the losers get another chance in qualifier 2. The rest 4 teams play 2 eliminators in the format given below, followed by another eliminator between the winners of the prior. The winner of the Eliminator 3 now plays in Qualifier 2 with the loser of Qualifier 1 for the 2nd spot in PKL Finals. Apa
Also, all the teams will be playing 11 matches at each venue in different legs of the season. This way, every team will be hosting all the other teams for one week. This continues for 12 weeks until the end of the season.
Pro Kabaddi 2019 Teams
In the 2019 Season, 12 teams from 11 different states will be seen battling for the 7th Title of the Pro Kabaddi League. Here are all the teams and their squad for the PKL 2019.
The Kolkata-based franchise has been there since the inaugural season but is still to win a title. Although the current team does not feature any member from the inaugural season. The current Warriors team:
|Jeeva Kumar||Defender – Right and left cover|
|Amir Santosh Dhumal||All-Rounder|
|Dharmendra Singh||Defender – Left Corner|
|Viraj Vishnu Landge||Defender – Left cover|
|Vijin Thangadurai||Defender – Right cover|
|Avinash A. R.||All-Rounder|
|Sahil||Defender – Right Cover|
|Amit||Defender – Right Corner|
|Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh||All-Rounder|
|Mohammad Taghi Paeinmahalli||Raider|
|Baldev Singh||Defender – Right Corner|
|Adarsh T||Defender – Left Corner|
|Ravindra Ramesh Kumawat||Raider|
They are the defending champions and also among the favourites going into this season. Bengaluru Bulls defeated the Gujarat Fortune Giants in the finals last season to win their first PKL title. In 2015 edition, they finished runners up after losing to U Mumba in the finals.
The current Bulls team:
|Lal Mohar Yadav||Raider|
|Mahender Singh||Defender – Left cover|
|Sandeep||Defender – Left Corner|
|Vijay Kumar||Defender – Right Corner|
|Raju Lal Choudhary||Defender – Right Corner|
|Aman||Defender – Left Corner|
|Mohit Sehrawat||Defender – Right Cover|
|Ashish Kumar (Sangwan)||All-Rounder|
|Pawan Kumar (Sehrawat)||Raider|
Dabang Delhi K.C.
Owned by Radha Kapoor, the Delhi Franchise reached the playoffs of the competition for the first time previous season.
The current Dabang team:
|Ravinder Pahal||Defender – Right Corner|
|Anil Kumar||Defender – Left cover|
|Vishal Mane||Defender – Right cover|
|Satywan||Defender – Left Cover|
|Pratik Patil||Defender – Right Corner|
|Saeid Ghaffari||Defender – Left Cover|
|Joginder Singh Narwal||Defender – Left Corner|
Gujarat Fortune Giants made it to back-to-back finals in its first 2 seasons in the league. But they ran out of luck, as they ended runners up in both outings.
The current Fortunegiants team:
|Mohammad Shazid Hossain||All-Rounder|
|Parvesh Bhainswal||Defender – Left cover|
|Ruturaj Shivaji Koravi||Defender|
|More G B||Raider|
|Amit||Defender, right cover|
|Sonu Gahlawat||Defender – Left Corner|
Jaipur Pink Panthers
The Abhishek Bachchan owned, Pink Panthers never lived up to the expectation after winning the inaugural season of the league. Pink Panthers would be hoping to make a solid run in the upcoming season.
The current Pink Panthers Team:
|Dong Gyu Kim||All-Rounder|
|Amit Hooda||Defender – Right Corner|
|Karamvir||Defender – Left Corner|
|Pavan T. R.||Defender – Right Cover|
|Deepak Niwas Hooda||All-Rounder|
|Sandeep Kumar (Dhull)||Defender – Left Corner|
|Ajinkya Ashok Pawar||Raider|
Haryana Steelers finished bottom in Zone A last season, after making it to the playoffs in its first season. Steelers would be eyeing at a better result in the upcoming season.
The current Steelers team:
|Prashanth Kumar Rai||Raider|
|Dharmaraj Cheralathan||Defender – Right and left corner|
|Ravi Kumar||Defender – Right cover|
|Vikram Kandola||Defender – Left Cover|
|Vikas Kale||Defender – Right cover|
|Subhash Narwal||Defender – Left Cover|
|Amir Hossein Mohammadmaleki||Raider|
|Parveen||Defender – Left Cover|
|Sunil||Defender – Right Corner|
|Arun Kumar HN||Raider|
Led by the most promising young star in Indian Kabaddi, Pardeep Narwal, Patna Pirates is the only team in the history of PKL to achieve a 3-peat, winning 3 consecutive titles. This makes them the most successful franchise in the league.
The current Pirates Team:
|Jang Kun Lee||Raider|
|Jaideep||Defender – Left Corner|
|Surender Nada||Defender – Left Corner|
|Neeraj Kumar||Defender – Right Cover|
|Mahendra Choudhary||Defender – Right Corner|
|Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsodlou||Raider|
After having finished at the bottom in their first 2 seasons, Puneri Paltan has a lot to prove in the upcoming season.
The current Paltan Team:
|Hadi Tajik||Defender – Right Corner|
|Girish Maruti Ernak||Defender – Left Corner|
|PO Surjeet Singh||Defender – Right cover|
|Satpal||Defender – Right Corner|
|Pawan Kumar (Kadian)||Raider|
|Sagar B. Krishna||All-Rounder|
|Deepak Yadav||Defender – Right cover|
|Jadhav Balasaheb Shahaji||Defender – Right Cover|
|Emad Sedaghat Nia||Raider|
|Shubham Shinde||Defender – Right corner|
The Chennai-based franchise is co-owned by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. They would be planning to up their performance after 2 consecutive failures since their entry in the league.
The current Thalaivas Team:
|Mohit Chhillar||Defender – Right Corner|
|Ajeet||Defender – Right Cover|
|Himanshu||Defender – Left Corner|
|M. Abishek||Defender – Right Cover|
|V. Ajith Kumar||Raider|
|Victor Onyango Obiero||All-Rounder|
|Ponparthiban Subramanian||Defender – Right cover|
A Veera Sports’ subsidiary, and 2-time runners up, Telugu Titans would aiming at their first championship this season by gaining early leads hosting the opening week.
The current Titans Team:
|Siddharth Sirish Desai||Raider|
|C. Arun||Defender – Left Corner|
|Manish||Defender – Left Cover|
|Akash Choudhary||Defender – Right Corner|
|Mula Siva Ganesh Reddy||Raider|
|Farhad Rahimi Milaghardan||All-Rounder|
Owned by Unilazer Ventures, run by Mumbai based Ronnie Screwala, U Mumba won the second season in 2015.
The current U Mumba Team:
|Young Chang Ko||Defender – Left cover|
|Dong Geon Lee||Raider|
|Ajinkya Rohidas Kapre||All-Rounder|
|Harendra Kumar||Defender – Left Cover|
|Harsh Vardhan||Defender – Right Corner|
|Fazel Atrachali||Defender – Left Corner|
|Rajaguru Subramanian||Defender – Right cover|
|Anil||Defender – Left Cover|
Coached by Jasveer Singh and Arjun Singh, the greater Noida based franchise have been a consistent performer in their first 2 seasons since 2017.
The current Yoddha Team:
|Md. Masud Karim||Raider|
|Amit||Defender – Left Cover|
|Aashish Nagar||Defender – Right Corner|
Pro Kabaddi Schedule
The Pro Kabaddi 2019 is scheduled in all the 12 home venues of the 12 teams in different legs. All the teams will be accommodated in the same city for a week and all the games for the week shall be conducted in the same arena. Here is the Pro Kabaddi schedule for 2019.
Pro Kabaddi League 2019 Schedule
Rules: Pro Kabaddi League 2019
Kabaddi is a fast-flowing, physical indoor sport, played between 2 teams constituting 7 members each. The main objective is to win the game by scoring more points through the course of the game. A kabaddi game runs for 40 minutes with the duration divided into two equal halves of 20 minutes each.
How to score points
Points are awarded while attacking as well as defending. In attacking, the ‘raider’ enters the opposite side to tag players in the opponent team and return back safely without getting pinned to the ground. A point is gained for every tagged defender and the tagged player is temporarily ruled out of play.
In defence, successful tackle of the raider by the team earns a point and the privilege of bringing back one tagged defender.
For a valid raid, the raider should cross the baulk line with at least one foot. Also, the raider must keep uttering “kabaddi” before entering the opposing court. He cannot stop before returns back to his court. A pause in the same shall lead to his return without any point.
The defenders cannot grab anything other than raider’s limbs and torso which is inspected by the officials. Also, the raider has to do it all while remaining within the boundaries of the court, else might lose a point for the same. A specific zone called the ‘lobby’ is active only when the raider has made contact with a defender.
In PKL, a do or die raid is applicable after every 2 empty raids i.e no point raids. In this, the raider has to secure at least one point to avoid his elimination.
One unsuccessful referral is awarded to each team in order to challenge tags/touches. This is applicable only during the knockout matches. Referees change or retain the decisions based on televised replays.
Also teams can have one In-Play coach consultation of 20 seconds in each half.
Saffron Sleeve: Current top defender (points earned per match basis)
Green Sleeve: Current top raider of the league (points earned per match basis)
Bonus Line: Active only when the defending team has at least 6-7 players, extra-point to the raider for crossing the same during a raid.
All Out: 2 extra points are awarded to the team who manages to tag all the opposite players out.
Super Tackle: The defending team is awarded one extra point for a tackle with less than 4 players, called a ‘super tackle’.
Records/Stats: Pro Kabaddi League 2019
Highest points in pro kabaddi:
Rahul Chaudhary: 876
Most raid points in pro kabaddi:
Pardeep Narwal: 858
Most tackle points in pro kabaddi:
Manjeet Chillar: 302
Season 1: Jaipur Pink Panthers
In the Semi-Finals of PKL 2014, U Mumba defeated the Bulls 27-23 while Jaipur crushed Patna Pirates 38-18 to set up the first-ever Pro Kabaddi League final. In the final, played in Mumbai, the Panthers defeated Mumbai 35-24 to win the first-ever PKL Championship. U Mumba’s captain Anup Kumar was named the Player of the Season. He was the best raider of the tournament, winning 155 points for his team.
Season 2: U Mumba
Led by one of India’s top raiders Anup Kumar, U Mumba won the title in the second season, defeating Bengaluru Bulls 36-30 in the final. Manjeet Chhillar of the Bulls was named the Player of the Season for his all-round performance throughout the tournament.
Season 3: Patna Pirates
U Mumba and Patna Pirates qualified for the semi-finals for the third consecutive time while it was the first time for Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors in top four. The Pirates defeated Pune 40-21 in the semi-final to enter the final of the tournament for the first time in three attempts. On the other hand, U Mumba defeated Bengal 41-29 to complete the hat-trick of finals.
But the Mumbai based team could not defend the title as Patna Pirates won the final 31-28, bagging a trophy and ₹1 crore in the process. Rohit Kumar of the Pirates was awarded Man of the Series for winning 102 raid points throughout the tournament.
Season 4: Patna Pirates
The Pirates defeated Puneri Paltan in the rematch of previous season’s semi-final while the Panthers won 34-24 against Telugu Titans to return to the final after two years. Patna became the first team to successfully defend the title after beating Jaipur 37-29 in the final.
Season 5: Patna Pirates
The new entrant Gujarat made it to the final in their first-ever season where they faced two times champions Patna Pirates. The titleholders won the finals 55-38 to complete the hat-trick of championships.
Season 6: Bengaluru Bulls
The Bulls defeated Gujarat in the first qualifier to enter the final for the second time after 2015. But Gujarat also qualified for the second consecutive final, defeating UP Yoddha 38-31 in the qualifier 2. Bengaluru Bulls, the 2014 semi-finalists and 2015 finalists, finally got their hands on the trophy, after winning the final 38-33. Gujrat, on the other hand, Gujarat suffered second consecutive defeat in the final.
Broadcasting Rights & Viewership: Pro Kabaddi League 2019
Non-cricket Indian sports in India has about 20% viewership in India out of which 61% contribution is from Pro Kabaddi League. By the end of last season, PKL also saw a growth in viewing time. The duration rose up by 26% from 19 min to 24 min per episode. Sponsors have enviable opportunities to intertwine in-broadcast spots because of the majority ownership of the broadcasters Star.
The 10-second advertising slots also saw the hike in price to 160,000 INR (€2,100/$2,500) in the previous season. For comparison IPL’s price for the same was 612,000 INR. The PKL audience is currently equally distributed in rural and urban areas and STAR believes in the immense potential of the league. “We know we are a long way off from monetising the Pro Kabaddi League. We are treating it as a start-up. These are the words of Star India, Chief Executive after acquiring the league in 2014, “We know it has potential and we know we’ll have to wait and develop the League. I do not even have a sales team in place for the League.”
Sponsors: Pro Kabaddi League 2019
Title Sponsor of the PKL shifted from Star Sports (2013-16) to Vivo (2017-19).
Central Sponsors: VIVO, Thums Up, Tata Motors, Bajaj Electricals, Dream 11, Gillette, Honda, RR Kabel, Ultratech, Britannia, Mcdowell’s & HDFC life
Following a multi-franchise model, BKT Tires signed a partnership with 7 out of 12 PKL franchises in the previous season. This was the first time that such a model was being followed outside of the IPL in India. The teams namely were Patna Pirates, Puneri Paltan, Tamil Thalaivas, Telugu Titans, U.P. Yoddha, Bengaluru Bulls and Haryana Steelers for the 6th season.
Prize Money: Pro Kabaddi League 2019
The prize money in the previous 2 seasons remained unchanged with a total of 8 crores being awarded in each season. The prize money for the 7th season of PKL will be known at the end of the Finals like every year. Although fans would be expecting some rise in the amount after PKL players are making it to the costliest non-cricket players in India for 2 consecutive years. Also, the costliest player in PKL 2018 was Monu Goyat for 1.51 crore which is more than the eventual prize money for the 3rd place in the league. The league might not want to repeat such a scenario again.
|Winner||Rs 3 crore|
|Runners-up||Rs 1.8 crore|
|Third Place||Rs 1.2 crore|
|fourth Place||Rs 80 lakh|
|Fifth Place||Rs 35 lakh|
|Sixth Place||Rs 35 lakh|
|Most Valuable Player||Rs 15 lakh|
|Best raider||Rs 10 lakh|
|Ace defender of PKL 2018||Rs 10 lakh|
|Sports debutant of PKL 2018||Rs 8 lakh|
|Best Referee Female||Rs 3.5 lakh|
|Best Referee Male||Rs 3.5 lakh|
|Total||Rs 8 crore|