Pawan Sehrawat continued his rich run of form as he finished at the top of the raiders list.
PKL season 8 started after a one-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Unlike the previous seasons, season 8 was played in a single venue with no audience participation. The whole season was held behind closed bars at Sheraton Grand Hotel in Bengaluru. Dabang Delhi KC defeated Patna Pirates in a high-octane final to lift the maiden title. Dabang Delhi KC progressed well since season 6 (season 6 – playoffs, season 7 – finals, season 8 – winners) reaching the playoffs consecutively. Pawan Sehrawat for the second consecutive season topped the raid points chart and also became the second player after Pardeep Narwal to breach the 300 raid points mark twice.
Arjun Deshwal stamped his mark in PKL season 8 and scored 267 raid points representing Jaipur Pink Panthers after shifting from U Mumba. Mohammedreza Chiyaneh became the second foreign player after Fazel Athrachali to top the tackle points table scoring 89 points. Tamil Thalaivas after a long time found a top-quality young defender Sagar who scored 82 tackle points the second most in the season.
Season 8 witnessed 24 foreign players in the squad which was two fewer than the previous edition. Iranians had the highest participation (16) followed by Kenya (3), South Korea (2), Bangladesh (1), Sri Lanka (1), and Japan (1). Pardeep Narwal after representing Patna Pirates for five successive seasons shifted base to UP Yoddha going for 1.65 crores the highest bid so far in the history of PKL. Siddharth Desai fondly referred to as “Bahubali” was once again sold to Telugu Titans for whopping 1.3 crores.
Matches – 24 | Raid Points – 304
Pawan Sehrawat became the first player to top the raid points chart for three successive seasons in the history of PKL. Bengaluru Bulls finished semifinalist for the second consecutive time losing to the champions Dabang Delhi KC.
Matches – 22 | Raid Points – 267
Arjun Deshwal after representing U Mumba in his debut season was brought by Jaipur Pink Panthers in PKL season 8 and became the lead raider in the presence of all-rounder and experienced Deepak Niwas Hooda. Arjun scored 104 raid points in the previous season and made full use of his experience in season 8.
Matches – 22 | Raid Points – 262
Maninder Singh was retained by Bengal Warriors after winning the title in season 7. The tall raider couldn’t take part in the finals due to an injury but was instrumental in the title run. The reigning champions couldn’t qualify for the playoffs finishing in the ninth spot.
Matches – 24 | Tackle Points – 89
The Iranian played a crucial role in defence enabling Patna Pirates to finish at the top of the points table after the league stage. He was part of the Iran junior squad which won the U-20 Kabaddi Championships. Ram Mehar Singh did a great job in scouting the Iranian but couldn’t cross the final hurdle losing by a point.
Matches – 22 | Tackle Points – 82
Sagar the right-corner defender scored 82 tackle points in 22 matches and became the first defender from Tamil Thalaivas to feature in the top 3 tackle points list since their inception in PKL season 5. Sagar scored the majority of the points in the first 15 matches but lost momentum in the final phases due to a lack of experience.
Matches – 24 | Tackle Points – 69
Saurabh Nandal started his PKL career on a bright note in season 7 scoring 57 tackle points which enabled Bengaluru Bulls to buy the defender back this season. The right-corner defender scored the third-highest tackle points performing well consistently throughout the season.
1. Pawan Sehrawat – 18
2. Maninder Singh -16
3. Arjun Deshwal – 16
1. Chiyaneh – 10
2. Sagar – 8
3. Sombir – 5