PKL History – Pro Kabaddi League Background

PKL history goes back to 1994. It is a men’s professional kabaddi league of India. Here you will find all the information regarding the Pro Kabaddi League background, founders, teams, and some major highlights of previous seasons.

Charu Sharma and Anand Mahindra founded Pro Kabaddi League in 1994 with a vision to make Kabaddi more accessible to the Indian audience. This earth-shaking initiative was endorsed and financed by the international broadcasting giant Star India. The organizing company of PKL is Mashal Sports. After comprehensive market study and research, its inaugural season was launched in 2014 with the Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 1 Player Auction on May 20th, 2014. Star India Network brought the game to the home audience with an integral part of Mashal Sports.

pkl history and pro kabaddi league back ground
PKL History and Pro Kabaddi League Background

This league has transformed the game of kabaddi with incredible innovations, making it an influential sport for both players and fans. It is backed by the active members of the Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF) and International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) and supported by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI). Pro Kabaddi League has witnessed massive growth over the past few years.

Star India and Mashal Sports worked together at a high level to make this game of kabaddi to an international standard with new and sensational rules and how the game is viewed, so there is a new era of kabaddi. Now in India and abroad, kabaddi is also seen as a feasible career option by many ambitious players.

What is Kabaddi?

PKL History: Key People of Pro Kabaddi League

Charu Sharma

PKL History is incomplete without mentioning Mr. Charu Sharma. He is a popular television personality in India. He is one of the founding members of the Pro Kabaddi League and Mashal Sports. He is well-known as a commentator and quizmaster. He was also the CEO of an Indian Premier League franchise named Royal Challengers Bangalore, for the 2008 season.

Anupam Goswami

He is the league commissioner of PKL and executive head of Mashal Sports. He joined Star India in 2013. He was fundamental for the broadcast programming of kabaddi as well as leading and launching the business.

Anand Mahindra

He is the managing director and chairman of the Mahindra Group. Forbes magazine enlisted him as one of the 25 most influential businesspeople in Asia. Besides being an industrialist, he is also a comrade of the executive committee of the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).

PKL History: Number of Franchises (Teams) in Pro Kabaddi League

Pro Kabaddi League is the second most popular sports event in India after the Indian Premier League of Cricket. In the start, there were doubts about whether the PKL would be a success or not. The viewership of the first season was 435 million (43.5 crores). The final of the inaugural season was played between Jaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba which was watched by 86.4 million (8.64 crores). Pro Kabaddi was started with a total of eight teams in the league. Those eight teams are the following:

  1. Bengal Warriors
  2. Bengaluru Bulls
  3. Dabang Delhi KC
  4. Jaipur Pink Panthers
  5. Patna Pirates
  6. Puneri Paltan
  7. Telugu Titans
  8. U Mumba

In the fifth season which was played in 2017, this league took a boom when four new franchises entered. After that, the PKL changed its format and split the teams into two divisions known as zones. Those four new teams are as follows:

  1. Gujarat Giants
  2. Haryana Steelers
  3. Tamil Thalaivas
  4. UP Yoddha

Each team represents a different city as a franchise which spices up the game a lot. Star Sports acquired a 74% stake in PKL’s parent company known as Mashal Sports.

PKL Highlights of All Seasons (1-8): Pro Kabaddi League Background

Kabaddi is a forgotten village game, reinvented for modern India in the form of the Pro Kabaddi League. Patna Pirates is the most popular and hot team in PKL, with three consecutive wins in the finals.

Let’s take a look at the PKL highlights of all seasons one by one. Details about all PKL winners, runner-ups, and score differences (season-wise).

Pro Kabaddi Winner and Runner-up in 2014: PKL Season 1

pro kabaddi league winners and runners-up season 1
Pro Kabaddi League Background: PKL History and Background

This inaugural season was played in 2014 with the participation of a total of eight teams, battling it out to be the Pro Kabaddi champion. The final was played between Jaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba. The score of the final match was 35-24. Jaipur Pink Panthers defeated U Mumba with a score difference of 11 and became the first Pro Kabaddi Champion and the first runner-up was U Mumba.

Pro Kabaddi Winner and Runner-up in 2015: PKL Season 2

pro kabaddi league winners and runners-up season 2
Pro Kabaddi League Background: PKL History and Background

PKL season 2 was played in 2015 with participants of eight teams, battling it out for the Pro Kabaddi Championship. The final was played between U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls. The score of the final match was 36-30. U Mumba defeated Bengaluru Bulls with a score difference of 6 and became the Pro Kabaddi Champion for the first time. Thus the runner-up of season 2 was Bengaluru Bulls.

Pro Kabaddi Winner and Runner-up in 2016: PKL Season 3

pro kabaddi league winners and runners-up season 3
Pro Kabaddi League Background: PKL History and Background

Pro Kabaddi Season 3 was played in 2016 and also with participation of a total of eight teams, competing to be the PKL champion. The final was played between Patna Pirates and U Mumba. The score of the final match was 31-28. Patna Pirates defeated U Mumba with a score difference of 3 and became the PKL champion for the first time. Thus the runner-up of season 3 was U Mumba.

Pro Kabaddi Winner and Runner-up in 2014: PKL Season 4

pro kabaddi league winners and runners-up season 4
Pro Kabaddi League Background: PKL History and Background

PKL season 4 was also played in 2016 and with the participation of a total of eight teams, battling it out for the Pro Kabaddi Championship. The final was played between Patna Pirates and Jaipur Pink Panthers. The score of the final match was 37-29. Patna Pirates defeated Jaipur Pink Panthers with a score difference of 8 and became the Pro Kabaddi champion for the second time. The runner-up of season 4 was Jaipur Pink Panthers.

Pro Kabaddi Winner and Runner-up in 2017: PKL Season 5

pro kabaddi league winners and runners-up season 5
Pro Kabaddi League Background: PKL History and Background

Pro Kabaddi season 5 was played in 2017 and with the participation of a total of twelve teams, battling it out to be the PKL champion. In this season, four new teams were introduced. The final was played between Patna Pirates and Gujarat Fortune Giants. The score of the final match was 55-38. Patna Pirates defeated Gujarat Fortune Giants with a score difference of 17 and became the PKL champion for the third time. Thus the runner-up of season 5 was Gujarat Fortune Giants.

Pro Kabaddi Winner and Runner-up in 2018: PKL Season 6

pro kabaddi league winners and runners-up season 6
Pro Kabaddi League Background: PKL History and Background

PKL season 5 was played in 2018 and with the participation of a total of twelve teams, competing to be the Pro Kabaddi champion. The final was played between Bengaluru Bulls and Gujarat Fortune Giants. The score of the final match was 38-33. Bengaluru Bulls defeated Gujarat Fortune Giants with a score difference of 5 and became the Pro Kabaddi League champion for the first time. Thus Gujarat Fortune Giants was the runner-up for the second time.

Pro Kabaddi Winner and Runner-up in 2019: PKL Season 7

pro kabaddi league winners and runners-up season 7
Pro Kabaddi League Background: PKL History and Background

Pro Kabaddi League season 7 was played in 2019 and with the participation of a total of twelve teams, battling it out for the PKL championship. The final was played between Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi. The score of the final match was 39-34. Bengal Warriors defeated Dabang Delhi with a score difference of 5 and became the PKL champion for the first time. Thus the runner-up of season 7 was Dabang Delhi.

Pro Kabaddi Winner and Runner-up in 2021-22: PKL Season 8

pro kabaddi league winners and runners-up season 8
Pro Kabaddi League Background: PKL History and Background

PKL season 8 was played in 2021-22, after a break of almost two years because of COVID-19 restrictions. All twelve franchisees participated. No new team was added. The final was played between Dabang Delhi and Patna Pirates. The score of the final match was 37-36. Dabang Delhi defeated Patna Pirates with a score difference of 1 and became the Pro Kabaddi League Champion for the first time. Thus season 7 runner-up was Patna Pirates.

PKL 9 will take place in October 2022 and all the kabaddi fans around the globe are desperately waiting to see the action live in the stadiums.

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