Mashal Sports, organizers of Pro Kabaddi League announced the commencement of season 8 with an all-captain press conference today. Gracing the occasion was Anupam Goswami, CEO, Mashal Sports and League Commissioner, PKL and Yogendra Sriramula, Director, Brand Strategy, vivo India, the title sponsor of the league. The team captains spoke about the opening day, strategies, preparations, and the young players who will shine this season.

The 12 captains representing each team included Maninder Singh from Bengal Warriors, Joginder Narwal from Dabang Delhi K.C, Sunil Kumar from Gujarat Giants, Pawan Sehrawat from Bengaluru Bulls, Vikash Kandola from Haryana Steelers, Deepak Hooda from Jaipur Pink Panthers, Prashant Kumar Rai for Patna Pirates, Nitin Tomar from Puneri Paltans, Surjeet Singh from Tamil Thalaivas, Rohit Kumar from Telugu Titans, Nitesh Kumar from UP Yoddha and Fazel Atrachali from U Mumba.

Anupam Goswami, CEO, Mashal Sports and League Commissioner, PKL said, “Through season 8 we look forward to setting an example for indoor sport in India. The season will be conducted at a single venue without spectators. But we are ensuring that fans will continue to witness a world class league. This time we are making use of top-notch technology and innovations to keep fans engaged with the matches and the league. We have not reduced the number of matches but have a slightly reduced duration of the season. Because of the changed format, Kabaddi lovers in India and all over the world are going to get vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 in an even more intense, action-packed & highly competitive manner with all these 12 captains battling it out for triumph and glory.”

Bengal Warriors captain, Maninder Singh said, “Kabaddi is an extremely tough sport that requires quick strategic thinking and presence of mind. The team has been working hard on building their fitness and working on key techniques. Stepping into Season 8 as defending champions is extremely motivating. The team is prepped and ready to put up a competitive game against every opponent.”

Dabang Delhi K.C. captain Joginder Narwal said, “As we step into the new season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League, we are looking forward to competitive matches as every team has put in maximum efforts possible to improve their game. With passion and new goals, we, as a team are excited for the new season and aim to take home the prestigious trophy for the first time.”

Gujarat Giants captain, Sunil Kumar said - “VIVO Pro Kabaddi League has really helped us grow as players and improve our playing skills. The team has bonded well and as a unit we have built a strategy for this season in order to ensure that we perform to the best of our ability. I am looking forward to a successful Season 8 and make our fans proud.” 

Bengaluru Bulls captain, Pawan Sehrawat said - “We are taking all the situations into account and planning to get the best results throughout the season. Randhir sir keeps us on our toes and have been training us mentally and physically to prepare us in the best way possible to be successful this time out.” 

Haryana Steelers captain Vikash Kandola said - "Our coach and staff are working very hard to build this season on the squad we have. They have been paying close attention to our fitness regimes, and our training sessions have been very good. Our squad has a good mix of youngsters and experienced players, and we are all ready to take on any challenge and make this season a very successful one." 

Jaipur Pink Panthers captain Deepak Hooda said - “We have been working rigorously for the new season, and we intend to give the best shot. With the squad having new young talent, we are sure to have a great season as we will be a surprise package. The team is mentally and physically prepared for the new season, and we aim to play well with strategic and smart thinking.”

Patna Pirates captain, Prashant Kumar Rai said, “Our approach this season is different – we are going with a young squad and a refreshed outlook in terms of strategy and planning. Each match will have a surprise element keeping our opponent team on their toes. There is a Plan B for every situation, and we will step on the mat with full preparation. Our fans across the country will not be disappointed, and we request them to continue supporting us from the comfort of their homes.”

Puneri Paltan captain, Nitin Tomar said – “With Season 8 commencing, there is a lot of excitement among the team members and fans alike. We are looking forward to getting back in the game with high level of competitiveness - the training is rigorous; we are working on multiple levels of techniques and skills. This year, we aim to treat fans to nail-biting matches and intend to take the trophy home.”

Telugu Titans captain, Rohit Kumar said - “This season is very different from the previous one as there is a change in format of the league, it is a different setting that we are getting used to. We have a very well-rounded team with top talents that can make a huge impact on the games going forward. Our aim is to put our best on the mat and make our fans happy.”

Tamil Thalaivas captain Surjeet Singh said - I think we have a young and talented squad this season, these youngsters have the capability to show their skill on the mat. We have been training hard under the guidance of Udaya sir and will aim to put our best on the big stage.”

UP Yoddha captain, Nitesh Kumar said - “First of all we are excited to be finally back on the mat after a gap of two years, second, we are confident and well prepared, thanks to a long time we as a team spent during our long training session at our UP Yoddha BK Kabaddi Academy. This is going to be a challenging season, both on the mat and off it too given the new dynamics of the bubble life, but as a team we are geared to take on the challenges and give it our all for each other, fans and our home state Uttar Pradesh.”

UMumba captain, Fazel Atrachali said - “We are opening the season with a game against Bengaluru Bulls – a strong team on paper, but we have prepared a contingency plan to tackle each player. We are going for a simple game with a strong and balanced team. We have a combination of speed and agility in our raiding, and techniques and skills in our defense – we are confident to entertain fans with nail-biting match.”

Season 8 of the Pro Kabaddi League is all set to bring back high-octane kabaddi action on the mat in Bengaluru from 22nd December onwards. As a special format for PKL Season 8, Mashal has scheduled ‘Triple Headers’ on the first 4 days to ensure that kabaddi fans across the country get to watch each of their favourite teams play in the very initial days of the League.

PKL Season 8 will begin with U Mumba facing Bengaluru Bulls in the tournament opener. The League’s ‘Southern Derby’ will then take centre-stage as Telugu Titans lock horns with Tamil Thalaivas in the second match and UP Yoddha squaring off with the defending champions Bengal Warriors in the last match of the opening day.