For the first time, Pro Kabaddi will be played without the services of South Korean raider Jang Kun Lee in Season 8.
Having played in the PKL since Season 1 in 2014, Jang Kun Lee has opted to skip the upcoming campaign citing personal reasons. He was set to play for Patna Pirates.
Bangladesh defender Monirul Chowdhury has been named Lee’s replacement.
Lee’s withdrawal comes as a huge blow for Patna Pirates who will be playing in absence of talismanic raider Pardeep Narwal for the first time since Season 2.
Patna Pirates retained Jang Kun Lee for INR 20.5 lakhs in the recent PKL 8 auction by exercising the Final Bid Match (FBM) card.
Jang Kun Lee, who joined Patna Pirates from Bengal Warriors in Season 7, had an underwhelming campaign last time out. He scored 60 raid points in 16 matches, at an average of 3.75 per match. It was Lee’s lowest return since Season 2, when he averaged 3.42.
Nevertheless, Jang Kun Lee was the third-most-expensive overseas player in the PKL 8 auctions after the Iranian duo of Iranian Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh (INR 31 lakhs) and Abozar Mohajer Mighani (INR 30.5 lakhs).
Jang Kun Lee, with 496 points in 106 matches, has scored the most points by an overseas player in Pro Kabaddi history.
There has been no official communication about Lee’s exit from the team and the league. However, PKL posted the full Patna Pirates squad for Season 8 with the notable exception of Lee from the list.
Pro Kabaddi Season 8 will start on December 22. All matches of the tournament will be played at Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru in a bio-secure bubble.
Patna Pirates Pro Kabaddi Season 8 squad
Raiders: Mohit, Guman Singh, Monu Goyat, Monu, Rajveersinh Chavan, Selvamani K, Sachin, Rohit, Prashanth Kumar Rai
Defenders: Neeraj Kumar, Sourav Gulia, Sandeep, Manish, Sunil, Shubham Shinde, Monirul Chowdhury
All-rounders: Sajin Chandrasekar, Sahil Mann, Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh
Featured photo: PKL / Website