Staff Reporter –
Mashal Sports, organizers of the vivo Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), has formally announced the return of the highly anticipated vivo Pro Kabaddi League, starting with the Season 8 Player Auction that will take place between August 29th and 31st, 2021.The Season 8 Player Auctions will initiate a grand return of the league after a gap of nearly two years. This Player Auction will see Domestic, Overseas, and New Young Players (NYPs) divided into four categories: Category A, B, C and D. Within each category, the players will be further sub-divided as ‘All-Rounders’, ‘Defenders’ and ‘Raiders’. Base prices for each of the categories are Category A – INR 30 Lakhs, Category B – INR 20 Lakhs, Category C – INR 10 Lakhs, Category D – INR 6 Lakhs. The total Salary Purse applicable to each Franchisee for its squad for Season 8 is INR 4.4 Crores. The Season 8 Player Pool has been expanded to 500+ athletes including all squad players from PKL Season 6 and 7, as well as all players who have represented the top 8 ranked teams of the AKFI Senior Men’s National Kabaddi Championships of 2020 and 2021 amongst others. We are excited about the return of PKL after two long years as it is home to top-quality kabaddi for fans in India and the world. There is immense excitement among players as we get ready for the player auctions for Season 8. We are sure to find more heroes through the upcoming auctions as we have in the last several seasons,” said Anupam Goswami, CEO, Mashal Sports and League Commissioner, PKL. “PKL Season 8, will be conducted as per strict government rules and safety protocols with the support and cooperation of all our stakeholders and associates in the national kabaddi ecosystem under the AKFI,” he further added. Before going into the auction, the PKL teams are also expected to exercise their choice of retention of PKL Season 7 squads as per the league policies. For each PKL Season, teams are allowed to retain up to six players under the Elite Retained Players category and up to six New Young Players (NYPs) under stipulated conditions.Of the 500+ players from the player pool, players who are not retained by the franchisees will go under the hammer during the three-day auction process in Mumbai, part of which will be telecast LIVE on the Star Sports Network. Fans can also follow all the latest updates of the Player Auctions on the official vivo Pro Kabaddi website www.prokabaddi.com . Mashal Sports plans to commence Season 8 of the vivo Pro Kabaddi League in December 2021, in complete compliance with the health and safety regulations set by the Government of India. Speaking about the PKL Season 8 Player Auctions, Deepak Hooda, Captain of the PKL Team, Jaipur Pink Panthers in Season 6 and 7 and Captain of the Indian National Kabaddi Team at the 2019 South Asian Games, said, “It’s been a tough year for athletes across all sports, and as a kabaddi player, I have been eagerly awaiting the resumption of the vivo Pro Kabaddi League and look forward to the Player Auctions which is an event that every kabaddi player will have their eyes set on. I am sure that Mashal Sports will conduct a successful auction and it will be interesting to see the strategies that the various teams will deploy.”
Captain of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup winning Indian National Kabaddi Team and coach of the PKL Team Puneri Paltan, Anup Kumar, said, “The announcement of the player auction dates could not have come at a better time for all kabaddi players. It has been a long wait, but players have been working hard on their skills and fitness. All eyes will be on the plethora of young talent available at the auction. I am sure that all teams will come well prepared for the auction.”
Mashal Sports and Disney Star, in collaboration with the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), have built PKL into India’s second most successful sports league in terms of television viewership. It has the largest number of matches for any national league in India. PKL has transformed the image of India’s indigenous sport of Kabaddi and its athletes nationally as well as across the world. Several Kabaddi-playing nations have strengthened their domestic Kabaddi programs because of the participation of their players in PKL.