Kabaddi has been a quick-rising sport in India and one of the most awaited leagues of the year is about
to take place this month. The eighth season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is set to start on December
22 in Bengaluru.
This season which is also called the 2021-22 VIVO PKL will be different because instead of the league
traveling in a caravan format, only a single venue will be hosting the whole event which is the Shertan
Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention Center. The said hotel venue will also be where all 12
team participants this year will be staying throughout the season.
It is expected that despite being held behind closed doors, this season will be doing great. Viewership on
PKL has been doing better each year. It is now considered the second most-watched sport in India after
the Indian Premier League (IPL). It’s no surprise that kabaddi betting is also a thriving industry in the
More on the 8th season of PKL in Bengaluru
The league decided to only utilize one venue to hold the matches and serve as the residence of the
players because it could help minimize the risk of COVID-19. The league will still be utilizing a bio-bubble
and this is why the event will still be held behind closed doors.
Mashal Sports will be managing the whole event and part of its plan is to give each team some floors for
their officials and players. The setup is going to be somewhat similar to what the Tokyo Olympic Village
had. With that, no team player or official will be allowed to go on to other floors. Regular COVID-19 tests
will also take place. Everyone will also have to wear masks when they are not in the training area.
The head physiotherapist of Bengaluru Bulls spoke about what the event will look like. Arvind Yadav
said, “It is like a mini-stadium now. Mashal has made the entire banquet hall into one arena to organize
the matches. There will be four training areas which we will share. There is not much difference, except
we all now will be staying in the city for the entire PKL season.”
It was also learned that Mashal Sports have booked a separate hotel for the broadcasting crews, media,
and other officials.
Teams and Players to Look Forward To
In the upcoming season of the league, a total of twelve teams will participate. Here is the list of the
teams and their captains this year:
This season’s auction that was held in August was when most of the teams were able to finalize their
squad list. Many are looking forward to seeing the return of a few players who have made quite an
impact on the previous seasons but missed out on season 7 like Telugu Titan’s Sandeep Kandola.
Kandola has been part of the PKL since its second season which was also when he was awarded as Best
Debutant with 59 tackle points and six high-fives. With that, he was also able to finish the season as the
second-best defender next to Ravinder Pahal. The athlete has taken a hiatus from this sport, however,
but now that he’s back, Telugu Titans were reported to spend ₹59.5 lakh to sign him back to the squad.
Haryana Steelers also signed Surender Nada who is known as one of the finest left corners in the history
of PKL. Nada holds the record for the most consecutive High-5s in a single season which is still
unmatched to this day. He has more than 200 tackle points throughout his career but in the 6 th edition of
the PKL, he got ruled out because of a shoulder injury. Now that he’s back, fans can’t wait to see him
join Rajesh Narwal and Ravi Kumar on the court again.
Mahendra Ganesh Rajput is also known to be a game-changer and he’s still going to play for the Gujarat
Giants this season. One of Rajput’s shining moments in the PKL was during the 5 th season when he
scored 62 points to take the team to the final. He was also able to give a 7-point raid against U Mumba
and that has been one of the iconic moments in the history of PKL.