Olympic Kabaddi 2022; “Celebrating unity through sports”

India has a professional Kabaddi league for men, known as the Pro Kabaddi League (officially Vivo Pro Kabbadi due to sponsorship), or PKL for short. Star Sports has been airing it since its debut in 2014. Season 8 originally started on 22 December 2021, but was delayed owing to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

The success of the Kabaddi event at the 2006 Asian Games sparked the creation of the league. The tournament was modelled after the Indian Premier League in terms of structure. The first season of the Pro Kabaddi League took place in 2014, with eight clubs paying franchise fees of up to US$250,000 each to participate. 

It was questioned if the Pro Kabaddi League would be successful because so many other leagues were copying the IPL’s commercial model and popularity, and because there were less well-known players in Kabaddi than in cricket. It was also pointed out that because kabaddi was so popular at the village level, advertising could reach people in both rural and urban areas if the league became popular.

While 55.2 crores (552 million) people watched the 2014 Indian Premier League, 43.5 crores (435 million) people saw the inaugural season, and 8.64 crores (or 860 million) people watched the first season final between Jaipur Pink Panthers and U-Mumba (86.4 million).

Broadcaster Star Sports for the Pro Kabaddi League stated in 2015 that it would purchase a 74% share in Mashal Sports, the parent business of the league.

The Pro Kabaddi League introduced four new teams for the 2017 and 2018-19 seasons and reorganized into two “zones” for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 campaigns.

In the 2019 season, the league quickly reverted back to its usual double round robin format.

A First Season Edit

On May 20, in Mumbai, the eight teams had their first player signing and auction. The Patna Pirates spent 12.80 lakh on a group of players, the most expensive of whom being Rakesh Kumar, the captain of the Indian kabaddi national team. According to, the Telugu Titans paid 12.60 lakh to acquire Deepak Niwas Hooda from the Sports Authority of India. The Patna franchise spent 7 lakh rupees to acquire Tae Deok Eom, the highest-paid foreign player. 

Season 2014 ran from July 26th, 2014 through August 31st, 2014. There were two rounds of play, followed by a semifinal and a final. A total of 60 games were scheduled to be played, with 56 in the regular season and 4 in the playoffs. The inaugural competition had 8 separate squads. The opening matchup was on July 26 between U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers, and the championship game was held in Mumbai on August 31. The inaugural Pro Kabaddi League was won by Jaipur Pink Panthers, who defeated U Mumba 35-24.

To revise the second season

The 2015 – 2016 season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi ran from July 18th to August 23rd. There were 60 total matches, including two semifinals, a third-place match, and the championship. The season kicked off on July 18 with a matchup between U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers, and culminated in a matchup between U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls on August 23 in Mumbai. U Mumba won the 2015 Pro Kabaddi League championship with a 36-30 victory over Bengaluru Bulls. U Mumba won the league, followed by the Bengaluru Bulls in second place and the Telugu Titans in third.

The 2016 season four took place between June 25 and July 31, and all eight original teams returned. The Patna Pirates won the championship game, defeating the Jaipur Pink Panthers. In addition, Women’s Kabaddi Challenge, the first professional women’s kabaddi league, premiered in Season 4. During the inaugural season of the Women’s Killer Clique, three teams the Ice Divas, the Fire Birds, and the Storm Queens competed for the title of WKC champion. To repeat as champions of the Pro Kabaddi League, the Patna Pirates men’s team defeated the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the championship match.

There were 12 teams in the 2017 season, the fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League. This included new clubs from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat. JSW Sports is the proud owner of the Haryana team, who go by the name Haryana Steelers. The Tamil Nadu team, the Tamil Thalaivas, is co-owned by Sachin Tendulkar. One club, the UP Yoddha, is owned by the GMR company, and the other, the Gujarat Fortune Giants, are owned by the Gautam Adani group.

At the May auctions for the upcoming season, each of the existing teams was allowed to keep one player from the previous year. Over 400 players were auctioned off, with the 12 teams spending a total of 46.99 crores.

Nitin Tomar, a raider, was the most expensive player selected at the auction, costing the Uttar Pradesh squad 93 lakh. Rohit Kumar, who the Bengaluru Bulls selected for 81 lakhs, came in second. Lee Jang-kun of South Korea, who was paid 80.3 lakhs to remain with the Bengal Warriors, was the most expensive international player.

The new season was supposed to be the longest-running and most comprehensive league event in Indian sports history. Over the course of 13 weeks and 11 different states, 138 matches were place.

Additionally, KBD Juniors, a Kabaddi tournament for kids, was organised amongst schools in the host cities.

Pardeep Narwal, who was named Man of the Tournament, led the way for the Patna Pirates with 19 raid points against the Gujarat Fortune Giants’ defence in the final, which the Pirates won 55-38.

There were 12 teams competing in the 2018 season of the Pro Kabaddi League, the league’s sixth season overall. At the current season’s auctions, the Haryana Steelers paid 1.51 crores for Monu Goyat, making him the highest paid player in Pro Kabaddi league history.

Fazel Atrachali, an Iranian player, is the most expensive international player this year. U Mumba spent 1 crore on him to acquire his services.

Man of the Match Pawan Kumar Sehrawat scored a tournament record 22 raid points to lead the Bengaluru Bulls to a 38-33 victory over the Gujarat Fortune Giants, who had won their respective zones. Once again, Gujarat Fortune Giants have been beaten by the same team in the finals. After two disappointing seasons, Bengaluru Bulls coach Randhir Singh was ecstatic when his squad won the championship. However, Gujarat Fortune Giants coach Manpreet Singh felt regret after his team lost two consecutive championships.

There were 12 teams competing in the Pro Kabaddi League’s seventh season in 2019. The new season’s auctions took place on April 8 and 9 in Mumbai. More than fifty crores were spent by the franchises to acquire two hundred players. The winning bid of 1.45 crore for Siddharth Sirish Desai by the Telugu Titans made him the most expensive purchase of the season. The Iranian Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, who was purchased by the Bengal Warriors for 77.75 lakh, was the most expensive international player in the season. 

The semi-finals were won by Dabang Delhi and Bengal Warriors, respectively, and both teams advanced to their first ever final. Bengal Warriors won their first Pro Kabaddi League championship after defeating Dabang Delhi 39-34 in the final. During this season, a number of benchmarks were set. Pardeep Narwal scored a thousand points in the Pro Kabaddi League, making history. 

Naveen Kumar had a streak of 21 straight Super 10s and finished with 22 total. Even though Haryana Steelers won the game, Pawan Sehrawat scored the highest points by an individual player. This season marked the first time when more than two raiders scored 300 raid points. Neeraj Kumar, of the Patna Pirates, tied Mohit Chillar for the most tackle points by a defender in a single game with 11.

The upcoming 2021-22 season will be the league’s seventh overall. Instead of the typical caravan style, when games are played at different locations throughout the season, all of the games will be played at the same location. Originally scheduled to take place in Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bangalore, the event was moved to the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Convention Center in nearby Whitefield. 

In 2022, the Pro Kabaddi League will play its ninth season. On August 5-6, 2022, the season’s auction took place. The PKL record transfer fee was paid by Tamil Thalaivas for Pavan Kumar Sehrawat, who was acquired by the team for Rs 2.26 crore. The 2022 campaign kicked off on October 7 and consisted of three separate “legs,” or events, held in three separate locations (Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex and Gachibowli Indoor Stadium).


According to the available data from the first two weeks, the number of people watching Star Sports Pro Kabaddi on television is up by about 56% compared to the same time last year. The first season drew in 43.5 crore (435 million) viewers, making it the second most watched show in India behind the Indian Premier League (IPL), which attracted 56 crore (560 million). There were 1.3 billion people who watched it online, an increase of 18.5 times over the 7 million people who watched it online in 2016. The third season premiered on January 30 and had an increase in viewers of 36% compared to the premiere of the previous season.