The history of the Pro Kabaddi League

The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is a professional kabaddi league in India that has played a pivotal role in popularizing the sport of kabaddi. Launched in 2014, the league has transformed the landscape of kabaddi. You can make a kabaddi bet online at 1xBet on the PKL and other major competitions of this sport too. 

There are 3 main aspects in which the PKL has been extremely important for the development of the sport, and they include: 

  • introducing a structured competition format; 
  • professionalizing the sport; 
  • and creating a platform for players to showcase their talent. 
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

The idea of a professional kabaddi league in India was conceptualized by 2 businessmen. They were Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of Mahindra Group, and Charu Sharma, a well-known sports commentator. The objective was to bring kabaddi to the forefront of Indian sports and provide a platform for the sport’s talented athletes. With the backing of Star Sports, one of India’s leading sports broadcasters, the PKL was officially launched in 2014. There are kabaddi online bets at 1xBet right now, and they can be made on all matches of this competition too. 


The first season of the PKL took place from July 26 to August 31, 2014. A total of 8 teams participated in the inaugural season, and the Jaipur Pink Panthers emerged as the 1st ever PKL champions by defeating the U Mumba in the final. The tournament featured top kabaddi players from India and other countries, gaining significant attention from fans and media. 


The second season of the PKL, held in 2015, expanded to include 2 more teams, bringing the total to 10. The U Mumba secured their 1st title by defeating the Bengaluru Bulls in the final. This season further solidified the league’s status in Indian sports. 

Consolidation of the competition 

The PKL continued to grow in popularity between 2016 and 2018, with subsequent seasons witnessing larger television viewership and stadium attendance. The 2016 season introduced new teams, including Haryana Steelers and Gujarat Fortunegiants. Patna Pirates became the 1st team to win consecutive titles, clinching their 2nd championship in 2016. Don’t forget to make live betting on kabaddi now at the 1xBet platform, where it is also possible to wager on all matches of those aforementioned teams too. 


In 2016, the PKL introduced the Women’s Kabaddi Challenge, a parallel league featuring women’s teams. This initiative aimed to promote women’s kabaddi and provide female athletes with a platform to showcase their skills. 


The 5th season of the PKL in 2017 became a record-breaking season in terms of viewership, making it one of the most-watched non-cricket sporting events in India. The Patna Pirates secured their third consecutive title, further cementing their dominance. 


The PKL continued to gain international exposure, with the inclusion of foreign players from countries like Iran, Bangladesh, and South Korea. This brought a diverse and global flavor to the league, enhancing its appeal beyond India’s borders. 


Starting in 2019, the PKL adopted a biannual format, conducting 2 seasons in a calendar year (Summer and Winter). This change aimed to maintain fan engagement and create a more frequent kabaddi calendar. 


The Bengal Warriors clinched their maiden PKL title in the 7th season (2019) by defeating Dabang Delhi K.C. in a thrilling final. The season also featured the first “Most Valuable Player” (MVP) award. 


2020 wasn’t an easy year for sports due to circumstances that we all know and experienced. For those reasons, the 8th season of the PKL was postponed to 2021. It was eventually hosted with additional health measures in order to be able to play while adapting to the realities that those years forced upon us. Yet, from 2022 onwards, the PKL regained a steady growth path. If you want to make live betting on a wide range of kabaddi matches, then you should visit the section dedicated to this sport available at the 1xBet platform. 

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