The Pro Kabaddi League has indeed come a long way since its inception nine years ago with the Jaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba teams facing off in the first-ever match in Mumbai. Over the course of nine seasons, the league has achieved significant milestones and has become the second-largest sporting league in India.
One of the notable aspects of the league’s growth is the addition of four new teams in Season 5, indicating the increasing popularity of kabaddi and the growing number of talented players across the country. This expansion has provided more opportunities for players to showcase their skills and compete at a higher level.
U Mumba Captain Anup Kumar Reminisces the First-Ever PKL Match and Reflects on His Season 1 MVP Award, “We were quite nervous just before the game started. We had never played on such a platform before. It was a different environment for us. We were playing under lights and in front of a big crowd for the first time. But we got used to the environment by the end of the first half of the opening game. We also carried out 30-second raids for the first time. I remember forgetting to focus on the timer because we didn’t have timed raids before.”
Rishank Devadiga Fondly Recalls His Favorite Memory from Pro Kabaddi League Season 1, “The first match was very exciting for us. Walking out through the tunnel to play the opening game is my favourite memory from Season 1. We were ready to play the beautiful game of kabaddi in front of everyone in the stadium.”
The financial valuation of players has also seen a remarkable increase over the years. The record-breaking bid of INR 2.26 crore by Tamil Thalaivas for Pawan Sehrawat in the PKL 2022 Auction demonstrates the rising value and recognition of kabaddi players in the league. This development not only reflects the players’ capabilities but also showcases the league’s ability to attract significant investments and sponsorships, further solidifying its position as a major sporting league in India.
Off the field, the Pro Kabaddi League has also contributed to the popularization and revitalization of kabaddi as a premier sport in the country. It has garnered a dedicated fan following and has become a source of pride and excitement for kabaddi enthusiasts.
PKL Legend Ajay Thakur Thrilled for Landmark Tenth Season After Nine Tremendous Years and shared his excitement about the milestone season, “I cannot tell you how happy I am to see the way kabaddi has grown in the last nine years. It will be an incredible feat for the league when it completes ten seasons this year. The league has transformed the way the game is played and the players’ lives. Ten years ago, we couldn’t have imagined that kabaddi players would be recognized around the country. Hats off to PKL.”
As the league continues to grow and evolve, it is likely to witness even more landmark moments and achievements in the coming years. The Pro Kabaddi League has undoubtedly made a significant impact on the sports landscape in India, and its success serves as an inspiration for the development of other indigenous sports in the country.
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