Once considered as a sport for the rural, Kabaddi is now one of the most popular sports in India. Despite being a high-intensity contact sport, it reached to staggering heights when it was brought to the mainstream audience in the year 2014 with Pro Kabaddi League.
This year is the fifth season of Pro Kabaddi League and it started on 28th July in Hyderabad. With over 130 matches in 13 weeks, this year’s Pro Kabaddi League season will be bigger than before. With 4 new teams, more money prize, more glamour, glitz and polished talents, it’s easy to miss out on gem players. Some players this year are complete show-stealers. Don’t miss out on them!
1. Anup Kumar | Raider | U Mumba
Captain of U Mumba, Captain of the Indian team, Arjuna Awardee and one of the biggest stars of the Pro Kabaddi League, Anup Kumar is always in control of the game and was awarded the title of Most Valuable Player in 2014. This year, he is proving to be a cerebral player with very bold and strong moves.
Source: Anup Kumar FB Page
2. Manjeet Chillar | All Rounder | Jaipur Pink Panthers
Arjuna Awardee Manjeet Chillar is one of the best players we’ve seen not just in this season but also in the past. Hailing from Haryana, he was a member of the Indian National Kabaddi Team that won India the Asian Games Gold Medal in 2014 and Asian Indoor Games in 2014.
Source: Manjeet Chillar | Facebook
3. Meraj Sheykh | All Rounder | Dabang Delhi
Captain of the side, Meraj Sheykh is from Iran one of the decorated names of Dabang Delhi. After having arrived in the side last year, Meraj was given the captain’s armband in the latter half of the season. He has continued to impress with his all-round play without succumbing to the pressure of captaincy.
Source: The Indian Express
4. Ajay Thakur | Raider | Tamil Thalaivas
The star player of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup final, Ajay Thakur has an experience of over 14 years in the exhilarating sport. He was one of the key players of the Indian kabaddi team that won the Gold medal at the Incheon Asian Games in 2014. In 2016, Ajay was the number 1 raider of the tournament with the most raid points. He is very famous for his signature move, frog jump and the running hand touch.
5. Pardeep Narwal | Raider | Patna Pirates
Also known as the Dupki King, Pardeep Narwal is one of the finest raiders of Kabaddi. Born in Sonipat, Haryana, Pardeep is the captain of Patna Pirates in the 5th season of Pro Kabaddi League. He has played a very important role in strengthening the performance of Patna Pirates and making them two-times champion.
6. Rahul Chaudhari | Raider | Telegu Titans
Often known as the poster boy of Indian Kabaddi, Rahul was a part of the Indian Kabaddi Team that won a Gold Medal in 2016 South Asian games. He was also the captain of the Indian Kabaddi team in 2014 during Beach Asian games. In this season of Pro Kabaddi League, he is the captain of Telegu Titans and has a strong hold of the game.
7. Mohit Chillar | Defender | Haryana Steelers
Hailing from Hailing from Nizampur, Mohit Chillar is a natural defender and has been an integral part of the defence for his teams. He has played 62 matches and has scored 184 points. Mohit was born in the year 1993 and has played at the School Games Federation of India. He also aspires to make it to the Indian National team.
Source: Haryana Steelers
8. Nitin Tomar | Raider | U.P. Yoddha
This year has been nothing short of a dream for the very talented Nitin Tomar. The 22-years-old raider became the most expensive player of the season, and rightly so. Despite his age and experience, Nitin is not just a swift player but also a great captain. Don’t miss out his performance.
Source: UP Yoddha
9. Deepak Niwas Hooda | Raider | Puneri Paltan
Currently the captain of Puneri Paltan, Deepak Niwas Hooda was a part of the Indian National Kabaddi Team which won a Gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games. Deepak has a lot of achievements under his belt- he won a Gold Medal at the All-India University tournament and also bagged the gold at the Senior National level tournament in Patna in 2014.
10. Vishal Bhardwaj | All Rounder | Telugu Titans
One of the youngest players, Vishal Bhardwaj entered the league with the 4th season and is here to stay. Vishal has played only 12 matches but his performance has been very good for his team. He has a total of 73 tackles under his belt, 34 out of which have been successful. He was also honoured as the young star of the Day during the match between Telugu Titans and Tamil Thalaivas in this season.
Source: Pro Kabaddi
Did we miss out on any of your favourite players? Let us know about them in the comments.