The sixth season of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League 2018 kicks off from 7th October. The PKL, as it is popularly known as, is a professional Kabaddi league in India. It was started in 2014 and has gained popularity across the Indian subcontinent. PKL was founded by Mashal Sports and was influenced by the hugely popular IPL cricket league in India.
Kabaddi is a popular game among the rural areas of India and the metro viewers have embraced the game as well. From the season 2017 PKL has added 4 new teams and has changed the format by having two groups called divisions. The Vivo PKL sixth season will start in Chennai and the teams will travel across 13 cities with a grand finale on 5th January 2019 in Mumbai.
There will be 12 teams taking part in the league just like last year with the Telugu Titans and Tamil Talaivas clash starting off the season. The tournament will be conducted over a period of 13 weeks.
The player auctions of 2018 Pro Kabaddi League this year were expected to be sensational and they didn’t disappoint. Six players were sold for more than 1 crore Rs. Monu Goyat was the highest paid PKL athlete with a price of 1.51 crore.
The most expensive overseas player was Iranian corner defender called Fazel Atrachali with a tag of Rs 1 crore. Within 2 days of the auction over 45 crores were spent as the 12 PKL franchises bought 181 players. Here are the grades allotted to the teams:
Patna beat Gujarat in last year's final 55-38 to win the title for the third time in a row. Pradeep Narwal scored 19 raid points and absolutely nailed the Gujarat team to win the man of the tournament prize as well. The Pirates showed incredible skill and determination to win their third title to vanquish the opposition. They start as favorites this year as well. Along with the competition, the fan base has grown considerably in the last few years since the inception of PKL.
Last year new sides such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamilnadu, and Haryana were added to the league thereby a rise in viewer base was observed. Gujarat will be hoping to go all the way this year after a bitter loss in the finals against the KPL strongmen Patna Pirates. Other teams such as Jaipur Pink Panthers and Bengal Warriors are also looking for the title this year.
It is too early for predictions as the league is yet to begin and how the season develops depends on many things such as player fitness, and luck etc. But going with the current form the Patna Pirates look set to repeat the last three year's feats. However expect some serious challenge to come up from Jaipur, Gujarat, and Haryana. Mumbai will be looking to improve their performances and so would Titans. But really it looks as if the first three and Patna are the ones to place a wager on at this moment.