5 debutants to watch out for in PKL 9
The ninth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League will kick off on the 7th of October and will remove the curtains from many unknown commodities. The league sets the stage for hundreds of emerging stars to make their debut on the biggest platform of Kabaddi each and every season. But unfortunately, only a few of them manage to grab this golden opportunity and make their debut campaign a memorable one.
We have witnessed that a stellar maiden campaign has always given an advantage for youngsters to prolong their stay in the league and establish themselves as prominent players. However, some players have already become familiar faces among Kabaddi fans even before their breakout at the top-flight league.
‘Parimatch News‘ brings you the list of 5 debutants to watch out for in PKL 9.
#5 Parteek Dahiya (Gujarat Giants)
Parteek hails from an avid sporting background as his uncle Deepak Hooda and aunt Sweety Boora are World and Asian medalists while his sister Preeti Dahiya is also a three-time Khelo India medalist boxer. He started playing Kabaddi at an early age after getting inspired by his uncle Deepak Niwas Hooda who is widely regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of this sport. Deepak trained his nephew with all the raiding skillsets he has mastered as his offensive play-style is intelligibly visible in Parteek’s game.
The Haryana-born youngster was the second-highest raid points scorer in the K7 Kabaddi StageUp tournament where his team Deepak Niwas Hooda Foundation also finished as the semifinalists.
He then moved to the land of Maharashtra to play for Yuva Paltan where his potential was nurtured along with other Puneri Paltan stars. However, his breakthrough point came in the Yuva Kabaddi Series (YKS) where he topped the raiding charts scoring 454 raid points in 30 matches as the captain of Kaziranga Rhinos.
The young raiding sensation was scouted by the legendary master Ram Mehar Singh who also included him in the previous season’s roster of Patna Pirates through the NYP quota. When RMS moved to Gujarat, he also took two of his NYP stars Parteek and Rohan Ghanghas on his flight from Patna to Ahmedabad. After making his mark in all top domestic competitions across the country, the rising star is finally ready to play his trade at the grandest stage of Kabaddi.
#4 Anuj Tanwar (Patna Pirates)
Patna Pirates have a history of producing raiding talents who went on to rule the PKL world after getting grooming conditions during their stint with this franchise. And the young and energetic vigilante Anuj Tanwar is said to be the next feature in that list of legends. The Haryana-based raider announced himself to the national circuit a long ago when he won the bronze medal at 66th Senior National Championship with his home state.
He then went on to be the part of Haryana youth side which claimed the gold medal honour at the prestigious stage of the Khelo India Youth Games. He is among those three youngsters along with Manish Dhull and Naveen Sharma who have been selected by Patna management on the basis of their performance in YKS. Tanwar was the lead raider of the Tadoba Tigers side which made it to the Summit Round of the inaugural edition.
Anuj has also trained with the developmental side of UP Yoddha which is considered one of the best platforms for the PKL preparations of budding talents. The new-age Patna side has loaded off many high-profile offensive names and is aiming to put their money on the young knights this season. Hence it will be a great opportunity for the emerging assailant to utilise his potential for the three-time Pro Kabaddi champions.
#3 Amirhossein Bastami (Haryana Steelers)
The list features the name of a foreign knight who will be travelling all the way from Iran to India for the first time in his career. Amirhossein Bastami generated buzz at the PKL 9 auctions when he became the third-most expensive defender of the upcoming edition. The Haryana Steelers franchise submitted the highest bid of 65.1 Lakh and secured the youngster’s employment by outwitting all other competitors.
Bastami comes from the Golestan Province of Iran which has produced so many stars who have adorned the Pro Kabaddi and International stage as well. He became a known name in the Iranian Kabaddi circuit after winning the gold medal with the Persian Gulf Transportation side at the National Beach Games of 2018. The triumph helped him earn a place in the Iranian team which won the inaugural edition of the World Junior Kabaddi Championship.
After receiving PKL and International recognition, he is now set to replace Abozar Mighani at the right-corner position of the Iranian senior side for the upcoming Asian Games. The right side of corner defense was the position which was a headache for the head-coach Rakesh Kumar in the previous season due to a lack of credible options. Hence the newly appointed gaffer Manpreet Singh has played his trade on Bastami to turn the tables in the Steelers’ favor.
#2 Kiran Magar (U Mumba)
The next feature is another young Maharashtrian defender who will be making his debut in the top-flight Kabaddi league of India. Hailing from Baramati, Kiran lives in Baner which is the home of Pune’s biggest Kabaddi club Satej. Magar also plays for Baburao Chandere Social Foundation in the company of PKL stars like Siddharth Desai, Vikas Kale, and Sunil Dubile.
The Pune-based left-corner defender played a pivotal role in the recent success of Maharashtra across national-level competitions. The silver medal at the 69th Senior National Championship helped him to attract a bid from the PKL second-edition champions U Mumba side. The recent runners-up at National Games, Gujarat shows that the youngster is on the top of his form before entering the grandest stage of this sport.
Mumba placed the highest bid of 31 lakhs at the auction table to acquire the services of the local lad for the upcoming season. Kiran does not have much competition for a place in the Mumbai Starting Seven and is likely to be their first-choice option for the left-corner position. He has garnered high praises for robust presence, ankle holds and especially the nature of going fearless for advanced tackles.
#1 Shankar Gadai (Gujarat Giants)
Shankar hails from the Bhenda Bk city of Maharashtra which has recently produced two more starlets in this edition of the Pro Kabaddi League. The other two players are Rahul Khatik-Patil from Bengaluru Bulls and Rahul Dhanawade from Jaipur Pink Panthers who will be featuring in this league for the first time. Coach Prashant Labade has played a pivotal role in the rise of Gadai by unearthing his potential and guiding him towards the success he has achieved in the short period.
The defensive all-rounder went for the golden raid during the finals of the Senior State Championship of Maharashtra in 2021 and returned with Golden glory for his district Ahmednagar.
As a reward for the heroics in State Championship, Shankar was offered the prestigious honour of captaining Maharashtra state in the 69th Senior National Championship held in Charkhi Dadri, Haryana. The silver medal in the National Championship was followed by another silver in the National Games held right before the commencement of PKL.
The Maharashtrian has earned his name in the national Kabaddi circuit as a sturdy right corner defender who also excels in the capabilities to turn the game with his offensive skills. He has been recruited by the Gujarat Giants franchise along with his Maharashtra teammate and left-cover defender Arkam Shaikh. He will be facing tough competition to make it to the Starting Seven due to the presence of the PKL-winning right-corner Baldev Singh on the roster.