VIVO Pro Kabaddi has witnessed a phenomenal growth over the last 4 seasons, and has emerged as a benchmark for sports leagues in India. For Season 5 of the league – which recently welcomed 4 new teams – seven franchises have announced names of select elite players who have been retained by them. Some of the leading names in VIVO Pro Kabaddi, given below, are set to be back in action in the biggest sports league in the country.

The teams and the list of player retained by them are as follows:




Retained  Player


Bengal Warriors

Jang Kun Lee


Bengaluru Bulls

Ashish Kumar


Dabang Delhi K.C

Meraj Sheykh


Patna Pirates

Pardeep Narwal


Puneri Paltan

Deepak Hooda


Telugu Titans

Rahul Chaudhari


Jaipur Pink Panthers

No player retained


U Mumba

Anup Kumarl

Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, VIVO Pro Kabaddi said, “It is very interesting to see these players being retained by the franchises and there are some surprises as well. It shows that the franchises are evolving as they look for the winning formula that will help them lift the coveted VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 trophy. I look forward to the auctions to see the compositions of the new teams, young players being drafted and the approach of the new franchises.”

Quick Facts:

    • Anup Kumar (U Mumba) – Recurring captain of U-Mumba for the past 4 seasons. Awarded Most Valuable Player in season 1. Led U-Mumba to 3 finals, winning the trophy in Season 2. Also captained India in the Kabaddi World Cup.
    • Rahul Chaudhari (Telugu Titans) – Most successful raider in PKL history. Awarded the best raider title twice - in seasons 1 and 4. The only player to score 500 points (total) in PKL history.
    • Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates) – Most exciting, successful young talent in PKL. Bagged the Emerging Player Award in Season 3, Most Valuable Player in Season 4. And, 2-time champion with Patna Pirates. The youngest player to be retained at 20yrs of age.
    • Jang Kun Lee (Bengal Warriors) – South Korean raider, representing Bengal Warriors for 4 Seasons now. Has scored most points for an international player in PKL history.
    • Meraj Sheykh (Dabang Delhi K.C.) – And all-rounder from Iran. Captain of Dabang Delhi K.C. in Season 4 and also captained Iran to the Kabaddi World Cup finals.
    • Deepak Hooda (Puneri Paltan) - All-rounder, and known for scoring the 3rd highest raid points in PKL Season 4. Also, the most successful raider for Puneri Paltan in the same season.
    • Ashish Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls) – Defender. The only category B player to be retained this season.

Player Anup Kumar from U-Mumba said, “I am obliged to be retained by my family, my team U-Mumba for the 4th consecutive season. VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 is going to be bigger and better in terms of 4 new teams, more matches, longer duration and endless action on the mat. I look forward to play the next season and wish all the 4 new teams Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana all the best for the same.”

Rahul Chaudhari, who has been retained by Telugu Titans said, “I am delighted to return to Telugu Titans. I am looking forward to the auctions to see the composition of the team where we are expecting new talent to participate as well. PKL has given Kabaddi a platform like no other domestic sport in India. I also want to welcome the 4 new teams – Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi which will be bigger than ever before. Telugu Titans have their eyes set on the trophy.”

Deepak Hooda, happy to be back with Puneri Paltan said, “It’s great to be back to continue playing for Puneri Paltan. Our team put up a powerful performance in Season 4, and we will take the competition a notch higher in the 5th season. With every season, PKL has grown bigger and this time there are 4 new teams entering the league. I am proud to see that VIVO Pro Kabaddi is India’s biggest sports league.”

Recently, Mashal Sports, organizer and administrator of the league and its parent organization STAR India, announced the inclusion of four new teams that will participate in Season 5 of the league. The four new franchises will be represented by Iquest Enterprises Private Limited (Consortium) (Tamil Nadu), Adani Group (Gujarat), GMR Group (Uttar Pradesh) and JSW Group (Haryana). They join the current 8 franchises to make VIVO Pro Kabaddi the biggest league in India – representation of 11 states, 130+ matches and a 13 weeks tournament starting in July 2017.