A spanking new Pro Kabaddi League season, with four spanking new teams, but with the same old excitement and athleticism on display.
With the ancient sport of kabaddi catching like wildfire after the introduction of the new league, the Vivo Pro Kabaddi organisers decided to add four new teams into the mix – two of those have been bought by organisations that have already built strong sports franchises, including the Sachin Tendulkar-owned Kerala Blasters.
And with those four teams comes the need to throw in a new format as well, especially with PKL 2017 having a total of 138 matches.
This will also be the longest Pro Kabaddi season to date, with the 2017 version set to go on for 13 weeks.
Starting with the first match in Hyderabad on July 28, when the Telugu Titans will face off against the newly-minted franchise the Tamil Thalaivas – the team co-owned by Tendulkar – the Pro Kabaddi League 2017 season will stretch all the way to October 28, when the final will be held in Chennai.
Considering Kabaddi is the state sport of Tamil Nadu, it was about time that a team was created in the PKL, and it will be interesting to see how the Tamil Thalaivas, along with the other three new franchises – Gujarat Fortunegiants, UP Yoddha and Haryana Steelers – perform under the bright lights of the Pro Kabaddi League.
There is plenty of excitement coming into this new season, not only because of the four new teams, but also due to the fact that all 12 of the franchises will basically be starting from scratch.
After a fresh auction was called – the existing franchises could only keep a select few – all the teams have a new dynamic and a different squad, bringing the unpredictability factor to the new season.
You just don't know which team will end up dominating or winning this year, which only adds to the excitement levels of what is already a spectacular spectator sport.