Pro Kabaddi League 2023-24: All you need to know – Dates, Venues, Teams, and Format
The Pro Kabaddi League, also known as PKL, is India’s men’s professional league tournament of Kabaddi, which takes place annually.
PKL is also the most famous and successful kabaddi tournament in the world. Influenced by the franchise format of the Indian Premier League, the first edition of the tournament took place in 2014 with a total of eight participating sides.
Initially, doubts were raised about the estimated success of the Pro Kabaddi League. However, despite all the odds, the tournament turned out to be highly successful for the Indian audience.
The inaugural edition of the tournament was won by Jaipur Pink Panthers, who defeated U Mumba 35-24. In the first season, former Indian captain Anup Kumar accumulated a total of 155 raid points while Manjeet Chhillar and Surender Nada had a draw at the top with 51 tackle points each.
In 2017, four more teams were added to the tournament as the single-group format of PKL changed into a format with two zones. Nevertheless, after just two seasons, the format was again restored to the regular double round-robin format in 2019.
Patna Pirates have been the most successful team in the Pro Kabaddi League history with three titles. Moreover, they are also the only team to win three consecutive titles in the history of the tournament. Pardeep Narwal, who joined Patna Pirates from Bengaluru Bulls was in rampaging form during the three years.
Narwal, also known as the “Dubki King” accumulated the highest number of raid points in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League (1542). Moreover, he also holds the record for most points in a single season (369), which he achieved in 2017.
After Patna Pirates, Jaipur Pink Panthers is the only team to lift the prestigious trophy twice. After winning the inaugural season, the Panthers will enter the tenth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League as defending champions as they defeated Puneri Paltan 33-29 in the final of the last season.
The group stage of the 10th edition of the Pro Kabaddi League will take place from December 2 to February 21. Telugu Titans and Gujarat Giants will face each other in the inaugural match of the tenth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League.
The auction of the upcoming season was also delayed and rescheduled due to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. It was originally scheduled to take place on September 8-9. However, according to the rescheduled, the auction took place on October 9-10, which witnessed Pawan Sehrawat getting purchased for ₹2.60 Cr by Telugu Titans.
The Caravan format will be used in the 10th edition of the Pro Kabaddi League. It was earlier confirmed by the League commissioner Anupam Goswami that this season’s matches will be played in twelve different cities. Hence, all the teams will get a chance to play in front of their home fans and get a home advantage.
The dates and venues are listed below:
- Ahmedabad – The Arena by TransStadia (2-7 December 2023)
- Bengaluru – Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium (8-13 December 2023)
- Pune – Badminton Hall in Balewadi Sports (15-20 December 2023)
- Chennai – SDAT Multi-Purpose Indoor Stadium (22-27 December 2023)
- Noida – Noida Indoor Stadium (29 December 2023 – 3 January 2024)
- Mumbai – DOME by NSCI (5-10 January 2024)
- Jaipur – SMS Indoor Stadium (12-17 January 2024)
- Hyderabad – Gachibowli Indoor Stadium (19-24 January 2024)
- Patna – Patliputra Indoor Stadium (26-31 January 2024)
- Delhi – Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium (2-7 February 2024)
- Kolkata – Netaji Indoor Stadium (9-14 February 2024)
- Panchkula – Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium (16-21 February)
Teams and Star Players
The twelve teams in the PKL are Dabang Delhi, Bengal Warriors, Bengaluru Bulls, Gujarat Giants, Haryana Steelers, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Patna Pirates, Puneri Paltan, Tamil Thalaivas, Telugu Titans, U Mumba, and UP Yoddhas.
While Delhi boasts of talents like Naveen Kumar and Vishal Bhardwaj, three-time champions Patna boasts a raiding trio of Rakesh Narwal, Manjeet, and Sachin. The Giants have roped in star Iranian defender Fazel Atrachali while the Warriors have the Sri Lankan raider Aslam Thambi in their squad which is a rare sight in PKL.
The format of Pro Kabaddi League has gone through a couple of changes over the years. However, this season will be played in a double round-robin league and playoffs format. After the completion of 22 league-stage matches, the top two teams will directly qualify for the semi-final.
Four teams ending their campaign between 3rd to 6th position will qualify for the eliminators. Hence, the four sides will play an eliminator to secure a spot in the semi-finals. The six teams which finish their campaign in the last six spots will be directly eliminated.
A team gets 5 points for a win and the losing team can receive 1 point despite the loss if the losing margin is equal to or less than 7 points. Moreover, 3 points were awarded to both teams in the situation of a draw till last season but matches will not result in a draw this season because the protocols have been changed.
In case a match ends in a draw, five raiders from both teams will be allowed to raid within a predetermined order. In addition to that, only touch points will be counted and the Baulk line will become the bonus line. After both teams complete five raids, the side with more points will be announced as the winner.