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Pro Kabaddi League

List of PKL champions from every season

Published at :February 23, 2024 at 5:32 PM
Modified at :February 23, 2024 at 5:32 PM
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Siddharthan P

In nine PKL seasons so far, 6 teams have been crowned champions.

Having been established in 2014, the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has grown in stature and has ensured the growth of the sport of Kabaddi. After the Indian Premier League (IPL), it is also the second-most watched sports league in India. IPL had an impact on the competition’s format. Using a franchise-based structure, the Pro Kabaddi League held its inaugural season in 2014, with eight teams that paid up to US$250,000 to enter.

There were skeptics about the Pro Kabaddi League‘s chances of success, pointing out that, in contrast to cricket, there were comparatively less well-known players in Kabaddi and that other leagues were trying to imitate the IPL’s popularity and financial model. It was also pointed out that, given the prevalence of kabaddi in grassroots community settings.

Advertisers might target a diverse range of rural and urban viewers if the league attracted a sizable following. The league has tasted astounding success and it will be completing a decade this year. While the finals of season 10 is just a week away, let’s look back at the winners of the previous seasons.

PKL 1: Jaipur Pink Panthers

The Jaipur Pink Panthers won the inaugural Pro Kabaddi title in 2014. The Jaipur Pink Panthers were the most reliable team in PKL Season 1, winning 10 of their 14 league games despite losing the season’s opening match. The Navneet Gautam-led side adapted to the franchise-style league as they became the inaugural champions much like how the Jaipur franchise did it in IPL.

Their main raider, Maninder Singh, had an outstanding season, finishing third in the points standings with 137, just behind U Mumba’s Anup Kumar (169) and Telugu Titans‘ Rahul Chaudhari (161). In the championship match, Maninder not only scored a Super 10 but also helped Jaipur Pink Panthers defeat U Mumba 35–24 to win the inaugural edition.

PKL 2 – U Mumba

With a more formidable defense, U Mumba, the runners-up of the first PKL season, dominated the league in the following year. They dominated the league winning 12 of the 14 league games. It was the season best known for the corner duo of Mohit Chillar and Surender Nada who were unstoppable. They had the highest average tackle points per game (12.25).

The team had the highest number of tackle points (196) at the conclusion of the season. In the Season 2 finale, U Mumba faced the Bengaluru Bulls. Shabeer Bapu’s Super Raid in the last seconds of the game gave them the 36-30 victory that tilted the game in their favor in the second half.

PKL 3 – Patna Pirates

In PKL Season 3, Patna Pirates claimed their first-ever Pro Kabaddi title. Pardeep Narwal of the Patna Pirates rose to the occasion in Season 3, having amassed the most raid points (116) following a brief stint with the Bengaluru Bulls in Season 2. Sandeep Narwal finished the season with the second-most tackle points (53), and earning the name of Beast.

Rohit Kumar, who was voted as the Most Valuable Player of the Season also rose to fame in this campaign. With seven points from Rohit Kumar in the championship game, Patna Pirates overcame U Mumba, the defending champions, 31–28 to win their first-ever PKL championship.

PKL 4 – Patna Pirates

With Pardeep coming from Bulls and winning the title for Pirates, Bulls wanted to get one back as they spent huge buck to rope in Season three’s MVP Rohit Kumar from Pirates. While Rohit left the Pirates, it didn’t stop Pardeep Narwal from guiding his team to yet another championship in PKL Season 4. With 10 victories in 14 games, Patna Pirates wrapped up the league at the top of the standings. While it was youth in Season three, they went to experience in season four as they roped in Dharmaraj Cheralathan.

Fondly called ‘Anna’, the Tamil Nadu-born defender was made the captain and he combined with Iranian star Fazel Atrachali who led Patna’s defense with 45 tackle points, while Pardeep Narwal led the raids with 133 points. The final pitted the Patna Pirates against the Jaipur Pink Panthers. With a score of 37-29, Pardeep Narwal scored 16 points during the game to earn Patna Pirates their second straight PKL title. As a result, Patna Pirates made history by being the first team to win the PKL twice.

PKL 5 – Patna Pirates

In Season 5, four new teams were introduced to Pro Kabaddi, but Patna Pirates emerged victorious as they completed a hattrick of titles. Captain of the Patna Pirates, Pardeep Narwal, set numerous records during the campaign and executed the legendary 8-point raid against the Haryana Steelers which proved to be the moment of the season.

In PKL Season 5, Patna Pirates scored 1,050 points, the most points ever recorded by a team in a single season. The Pro Kabaddi Season 5 championship match saw Patna Pirates defeat Gujarat Giants 55-38 in a one-sided match. Thanks to some amazing stats, Pardeep Narwal was named the season’s MVP. He had the most raid points (369), the most super raids (18), and the most super 10s (19) as he became the biggest star in the world of Kabaddi.

PKL 6 – Bengaluru Bulls

Bengaluru Bulls, led by captain Rohit Kumar, won the PKL championship in Season 6, and MVP Pawan Sehrawat emerged as the tournament’s top scorer with 282 points. The season proved to be the game changer for the Hi-Flyer Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, as he got the baton of a showstopper from Pardeep Narwal. The Bengaluru Bulls and Gujarat Fortunegiants fought a close game in the championship.

Ultimately, the game was won by Pawan Sehrawat’s outstanding effort. The Bengaluru Bulls won their first-ever PKL championship, defeating the Gujarat Giants 38-33 behind 22 points from Pawan. Many were happy for coach Randhir Singh Sehrawat, who was and still is only the coach to be associated with the same team since season one.

PKL 7 – Bengal Warriors

A team effort helped the Bengal Warriors lift their first-ever PKL championship in Season 7. Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi K.C., two of the best teams in the league, faced off in the PKL Season 7 championship match. Maninder Singh, the captain and top raider with 205 points, was injured and missed the championship match.

Bengal Warriors never lost sight of the game, even though they were playing against the season’s MVP, Naveen Kumar. Bengal Warriors defeated Dabang Delhi K.C. 39-34 in the championship game thanks to a game-winning Super 10 from Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, who took on the team’s responsibility. The Iranian all-rounder led an inspirational journey to help them lift the title.

PKL 8 – Dabang Delhi KC

In Season 8, Dabang Delhi became the sixth team in the league’s history to win the PKL trophy when they defeated Patna Pirates 37-36. In the championship match, the two-time MVP Naveen Kumar and the amazing all-rounder Vijay each scored Super 10s as they faced the Mohammadreza Chiyaneh-led Patna Pirates defense.

For the second year in a row, Naveen Kumar emerged as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) with 207 raid points in 17 games. With 52 tackle points at the end of his campaign, veteran all-rounder Manjeet Chhillar emerged as the team’s most successful defender. The season eight finals was the closest of all as Delhi beat the three-time champions by the narrowest of margins—just one point.

PKL 9 – Jaipur Pink Panthers

With Bengaluru, Pune, and Hyderabad hosting the league stage and Mumbai hosting the playoffs, the ninth season of PKL saw the return of the fans to the arena. In the Season 9 Final, the Jaipur Pink Panthers defeated Puneri Paltan 33-29 to win their second Pro Kabaddi title. With six raid points apiece from Arjun Deshwal and Ajith Kumar in the offense, along with a High 5 from skipper Sunil Kumar, the inaugural champions were able to reclaim their title in the ninth season.

With 296 raid points, Arjun Deshwal, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of Season 9, topped the raiding statistics. Ankush, who recorded the highest number of tackle points (89) of any rookie in PKL history, was another excellent defender that Jaipur acquired. It was the battle of the two best teams of the season and the Pink Panthers came triumphing at the end.

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