The team will start its campaign against the defending Champions Bengal Warriors.

GMR group owned, PKL franchise, UP Yoddha has officially announced their captain for the upcoming Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season, which is all set to kick off from 22nd December 2021 in Bengaluru. Nitesh Kumar, who made his captaincy debut for UP Yoddha in season 7, has been retained as the captain for this year as well.

He currently holds the record of being the first defender to score 100 points in a single season, therefore winning the ‘Best Defender’ title in PKL season 6. Nitesh Kumar, commonly known as the ‘master of ankle hold’ has eye-catching records in the PKL. A total of 224 points earned from 67 matches with 72.72% not out makes him a one of the most valuable players in the history of PKL who is all set to lead his side in upcoming season.

He said, “It’s an honour and privilege for me to be announced as the captain of UP Yoddha for this year, this will certainly add some more responsibilities on my shoulders, but on the other hand I’m very excited to lead my team. We always have had a strong defence line but this year we have added some lethal raiders in the form of Pardeep Narwal and James and I am hopeful of us making it to the final stage of the championship.”

Commenting further on the preparations for the upcoming season, Nitesh Kumar added, “We are well prepared as a team both mentally as well as physically for the coming season. We have been practicing for quite a long period together at our state-of-the-art UP Yoddha BK Kabaddi Academy in Meerut and I am confident that this brotherhood and comfort that we all share will show in our performance this season.”

Col. Vinod Bisht, CEO, GMR League Games said, “After a long thought process and discussion, this time also we have decided to choose Nitesh as the captain based on his previous year’s performance. He is young and talented and reads the game well, and also is well respected by one and all within the team. He thinks on his feet and quick decision-making skills along with his relationship with his team members and his performance it was an obvious choice to name him as the captain for this season as well.”

UP Yoddha will start the campaign against the defending Champions, Bengal Warriors on the inaugural day of PKL’s eighth season, i.e., 22nd December 2021 at 9:30 PM at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention Centre. All matches to be played without spectators and inside the bio-bubble, keeping in mind, the safety and health of each and everyone associated with this league.

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