Kerala set to co-host Pro Kabaddi play-offs

Group toppers Gujarat Fortunegiants and Bengaluru Bulls will face off in qualifier-1, a virtual semifinal.

The captains of the six teams in the Pro Kabaddi’s 2018 playoffs, Rohit Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls), Joginder Narwal (Dabang Delhi KC), Fazel Atrachali (U Mumba), Sunil Kumar (Gujarat Fortunegiants), Rishank Devadiga (UP Yoddha), Ran Singh (Bengal Warriors) – get a taste of Kerala in Kochi.   -  Special Arrangement

After the league phase and wildcard rounds, the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League caravan has now reached Kochi for the play-off matches which begin at the Rajiv Gandhi indoor stadium in Kadavanthra on Sunday.

The play-offs are a two-day affair featuring the top three teams from the league’s two groups. Group toppers – Gujarat Fortunegiants (Zone A) and Bengaluru Bulls (Zone B) – play the qualifier-1 on Monday night, virtually a semifinal. The other four teams will play the elimination rounds for a lone berth in qualifier-2.

The qualifier-2 and the final, which will feature the winners of the two qualifiers, will be played in Mumbai.

On Sunday, season two champion U Mumba will take on UP Yoddha in eliminator-1 while Dabang Delhi will clash with Bengal Warriors in eliminator-2. The winners of these two matches will play the eliminator-3 on Monday and the winner of that match will progress to the qualifier-2.

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That sounds a tad complicated but the league has richly rewarded the toppers of the two zones. The loser of qualifier-1 will get a second chance to enter the final when it plays the qualifier-2.

“The team has worked very hard to reach the play-offs and we want to continue this hard work,” said Rohit Kumar, the Bengaluru Bulls captain, ahead of the play-offs.

“Gujarat Fortunegiants is a young team and cannot be underestimated, it has a great coach and seems like a team on a mission. We have our plans in place and will play with an aim to defeat and come out victorious.”

The first match begins at 8 pm and the second at 9 pm on both days.