Pro Kabaddi League season 8: Everything you need to know
After a two-year hiatus, the Pro Kabaddi League will mark its return Wednesday with the eighth season of the tournament. The last edition was played between July and October 2019. Unlike the previous seasons, this time PKL will be held in a single city - Bengaluru. The spectators will not be allowed in the stadium and players will have to follow a strict bio-bubble.
Triple headers will be played on the first four days with all 12 sides getting to action right away. The 8th season of PKL is likely to be wrapped up in two months rather than three. With the league getting shorter, it would be crucial for teams to manage players' workloads. Injury management is another concern teams will have to tackle.
Twelve franchises will go against each other this season to lift the PKL trophy. The teams are - Bengaluru Bulls, Bengal Warriors, Dabang Delhi, Gujarat Giants, Haryana Steelers, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Patna Pirates, Puneri Paltan, Tamil Thalaivas, Telugu Titans, U Mumba, and UP Yoddha.
The best raiders: Naveen Kumar, Ajay Thakur, Siddharth Desai, Rohit Kumar, Nitin Tomar Rahul Chaudhari, Pawan Sehrawat, Chandran Ranjit, Pardeep Narwal, and Shrikant Jadhav The best defenders: Ravinder Pahal, Girish Ernak, Nitesh Kumar, Sumit Sangwan, Abozar Mighani, Rinku Narwal, Baldev Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sandeep Narwal, and Joginder Narwal Foreign players: Fazel Atrachali, Mohammad Nabibakhsh
Three matches will take place on the first day. In the first match, Bengaluru Bulls square off against U Mumba (7:30 PM). Telugu Titans will be up against Tamil Thalaivar (8:30 PM) in the second game. In the last encounter, Bengal Warriors lock horns with UP Yoddha (9:30 PM). Star Sports Network has the broadcasting rights for PKL 8. Live-streaming is available on Disney+Hotstar.
Bengal Warriors downed Dabang Delhi in the summit clash to clinch their maiden PKL title in the last season. The zonal system was replaced with a round-robin format in PKL 2019 as each side played against each other twice. Delhi finished the group stage as the top-ranked side followed by Bengal, UP, U Mumba, Haryana, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Patna, Gujarat, Puneri Paltan, Telugu, and Tamil.
Bengal Warriors are the reigning champions as they won PKL 2019. Patna Pirates are the most successful side in the League. They have won the tournament three times -- twice in 2016 and once in 2017. Jaipur are the inaugural champions. They won their maiden title in 2014. In 2015, U Mumba won their first title while Bengaluru won their only trophy in 2018.