After a long wait of over a year, the eighth season of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is finally set to launch in India soon. The league was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
With the new season set to commence later this year, PKL’s official Twitter handle put out an auction post creating curiosity among eager fans.
The wait is over... 👀 pic.twitter.com/bAhozd6HsT— ProKabaddi (@ProKabaddi) August 1, 2021
The resumption of PKL comes as a welcome sign for most of India’s top kabaddi athletes who have been out of action for a while.
"Pro Kabaddi [League] helped all the players a lot on the financial front but because of the pandemic, it became difficult for every one of us. But we managed to survive in this situation because we knew it will not last for a long time. Before Kabaddi resumes, everything will be normal," Rishank Devadiga was quoted in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times.
Matches are likely to be held without fans and in fewer venues in stark contrast to previous seasons where all 12 participating teams had the added boost of their supporters cheering them on during their home legs.
The last edition of the PKL was held in 2019 when Bengal Warriors beat Dabang Delhi K.C. to lift the title. Although Naveen Kumar starred in the match, Bengal’s all-round brilliance steered them to their maiden PKL title.
Ahead of the new season, the defending champions will look to make some smart buys and retain their core group in the auction.
Patna Pirates are the most successful side in PKL history having lifted the coveted trophy thrice and they won’t want to lose star man Pardeep Narwal in the auction either.
Earlier in April 2021, Star India retained the media rights to broadcast PKL for the next five seasons from 2021-2025.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi League / Instagram