Pro Kabaddi League Season 5 was the first time the competition went from 8 teams to 12 teams and the season ended up spanning to 13 weeks comprising of 138 matches. No one knew how the audience would react to the prolonged format but PKL Season 5 was a massive hit and we cannot wait for it to return again. Earlier in the week, Pro Kabaddi League revealed that PKL Season 6 will begin on October 19, 2018, and the first step towards the new PKL Season is to conduct the PKL 2018 auctions. Ever since PKL 2018 start date has been announced, fans have been building expectations from their teams and the kind of players they will sign at the PKL 2018 auctions. Pro Kabaddi 2018 Start date is October 19 but a lot will take place from now until October 19 and players, as well as the fans, will be looking forward to a lot of things as PKL Season 6 expects to be the best ever in competition’s history. PKL Schedule 2018 with detailed match days will be announced later, for now, we know that PKL 2018 Start date is October 19 this year and here are the 5 things we can look forward to from the new and possibly the best season in Pro Kabaddi League’s history.
1). A new PKL Champion
Patna Pirates have made a habit of winning PKL titles after winning 3 consecutive PKL titles leaving other teams a hard task of catching up and competing against them. Last season, Patna Pirates defeated the competition’s strongest defensive team, Gujarat Fortunegiats which has left other teams scratching for ideas as to what is the best way to stop Patna’s juggernaut. Pardeep Narwal has been a sensation for Patna Pirates and stopping him should be the ultimate target for the teams who will come up against Patna in the PKL 2018 season.
2). A complete squad shake-up
PKL 2018 has seen a new trend of PKL teams not retaining their best players from last season and many teams like UP Yoddha, Jaipur Pink Panthers, and U Mumba have not retained a single player ahead of the PKL 2018 auctions. This means when the PKL schedule 2018 comes out we may be looking at some pretty exciting match-ups where players who were teammates until last season could come up against each other in the PKL 2018 season. Imagine the possibility of Pardeep Narwal and Rahul Chaudhari playing for the same team or even Anup Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari joining forces to defeat Patna Pirates. Yes, it all can happen.
3). Record viewership of PKL 2018
PKL Season 5 recorded over 500 million impressions which at the time was more than the ongoing India-Sri Lanka cricket series. Kabaddi being a 40-minute game really connects with the audiences and they can take little time out of their schedule to catch up on the games even if the PKL 2018 action will continue on a daily basis. Star Sports will be telecasting the 6th season of PKL and after their more than successful coverage of the IPL, fans can expect the same when it comes to PKL Season 6. Numbers from last year will definitely be broken this year as we got the feeling that it was the first time when people in India really accepted Kabaddi as a sport and were vested in it and PKL 2018 could take those following and viewership to a whole new level.
4). Improved standard of defending
While there may be a case made for the quality of raiding last season where the likes of Pardeep Narwal, Ajay Thakur, Maninder Singh and Monu Goyat were ramping through the defense and were scoring raid points for fun, however, it was safe to say that many sides defended pretty poorly in PKL Season 5. In Kabaddi, defending is about hunting in packs and Gujarat Fortunegiants were a true example of that notion as they had Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani flanking their defense and cut to the PKL 2018 season, many teams will need that cohesion and togetherness in defense if they want to attack a team who have more than 1 quality raider.
5). Quick decision making from the officials
One aspect of PKL Season 5 which had me frustrated at times was the decision making from the video officials. On-field referees were stunning with their calls but every time the referral was taken by the teams, there was a chaos and delay which neither the on-field or the video officials were able to handle. In PKL 2018 season, we hope that the standards of on-field referring continue to get better but certainly we need a better and certainly a crisper referral system in place for the Pro Kabaddi League season 6.
Video – Amitabh Bachchan singing PKL theme song