The seventh edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019) will kick-off on July 20 when home side Telugu Titans takes on U Mumba at Hyderabad's Gachibowli Stadium. The second tie of the day will see defending champion Bengaluru Bulls face three-time champion Patna Pirates.
From Pawan Kumar Sehrawat to Nitesh Kumar, Sportstar gives you a list of seven standout players going into PKL 2019.
Pawan Kumar Sehrawat
If you are planning to put your money on a raider, it has to be this man. Pawan scored a league-leading 282 points last season, amounting to 31 percent of his team's total points, and bagged a stupendous 22 points in the final – the most by any player.
Having pocketed the MVP award for his terrific show, Pawan can bulldoze through oppositions with his stunning reach and burly physique, making him one of the game's most exciting stars to watch.
You're bound to run out of adjectives when you try to describe Siddharth's game. He stole the limelight in his debut season by becoming the fastest to 50 points and went on to claim a massive 218 points to finish as the league's third-best raider.
Making a comeback from a shoulder injury, the 27-year-old is sure to wreak havoc on the mat this time too.
PKL's all-time leading point-scorer will for the first time represent a team other than Telugu Titans. Tamil Thalaivas managed to get him on board for Rs. 94 lakhs and the Raid Machine, with a mammoth 876 points to his name, is a proven match-winner.
With a nifty ability to pick up points and a specialty in getting those crucial Super 10's, he will be vital in Thalaivas' quest for a maiden title.
Pardeep's name has become synonymous with Indian kabaddi. Widely known as the Dubki King , the nimble-footed star has emerged as the best raider the country has produced. With a whopping 858 raid points in five seasons, he is the league's most successful raider.
Pardeep picked up an astonishing 233 raid points last season, the second-most in the league, but could not ensure his side's progress into the playoffs. Will he have revenge on his mind? Definitely, but it will be one (or multiple in his case) raid points at a time.
One of the brightest finds of the Future Kabaddi Heroes programme, youngster Nitesh broke records aplenty in his first season. Manning the right corner for UP Yoddha, he amassed a staggering 100 tackle points, making him the first defender to reach the three-figure mark in a single edition.
With the likes of stalwarts such as Monu Goyat and Rishank Devadiga beside him, another strong season awaits the 21-year-old.
PKL's most expensive player till date, Monu had a fairly lukewarm season last year. Having joined UP Yoddha for Rs. 93 lakh this time, he will join forces with Rishank Devadiga this time around.
On his day, he can completely swing the momentum in his team's favour and will be hungry to bounce back after picking up only 160 points in an injury-marred campaign last year.
One of the most consistent performers in PKL, Iranian powerhouse Fazel Atrachali promises excitement each time he gets on that mat. With 235 tackle points to his name, he ranks among the top-5 on the list of most tackle points in the league's history.
He is also the only foreigner to play in four finals, and has bagged two titles. Having won the league with U Mumba in season 2, he will now captain the side and hope to lead the team to a second title time around.
Latest on Sportstar
- WTC Final LIVE Score, IND vs AUS Day 4: India 28/0 (6 overs); Rohit, Gill start strong in record chase of 444
- WTC Final 2023: Rohit Sharma completes 13,000 runs as opener; third-fastest behind Hayden, Tendulkar
- Overall happy with our performance: Stimac on India’s win against Mongolia
- Norway Chess: Gritty Gukesh finishes third; Nakamura pips Caruana to the title
- WTC Final: What is the highest Test score successfully chased and highest fourth-innings total at the Oval?