Being developed in India, kabaddi has always had a strong connection with the people of the country. And with the advent of the Pro Kabaddi League, the game has grown to another level in the last nine years. The organisers of the league introduced unique innovations to the game and packaged the sport brilliantly for television. Today, the sport has millions of fans from around the world and more importantly, the players have gone on to become role models over the last nine seasons of PKL!
The Pro Kabaddi League is on the cusp of completing its landmark 10th season this year and it's time to celebrate the glorious journey. As we build toward the landmark edition, PKL is looking back at some of the biggest moments through the PKL MVP's Special Memories content series. Each of the players who have won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award will share their excitement for Season 10 and explain how PKL has changed their lives.
One of the most influential figures in the kabaddi circuit and MVP winner in Season 2 - Manjeet Chhillar has seen the rise of the Pro Kabaddi League from Season 1 to 9 and he couldn't hold back his emotions when he was asked about his excitement for Season 10, "It's a great feeling. I have been a part of the Pro Kabaddi League since the very first season. I also dreamed that I would get to participate in the 10th season, but unfortunately, I had to retire after the eighth season. It’s an emotional moment for all the kabaddi players who have ever participated in the league."
The all-rounder, who scored 67 raid points and 40 tackle points in the second season of PKL also went down memory lane to speak about his fondest memories of the Pro Kabaddi League, "I think my best moment in Pro Kabaddi was winning the league in the eighth season with Dabang Delhi K.C. Until that point, I had all kinds of medals on my shelf except for the Pro Kabaddi League title. This was a long-time target for me."
Looking back at his experience of being a part of the first-ever PKL Auction, Chhillar said, "I have always played kabaddi to earn a name, and when the first season was about to begin, I just wanted to be a part of a team more than anything else. The auction took place when we were part of an Indian team training camp in Bengaluru, and the whole team was sitting together. When I was picked by the Bengaluru Bulls, I was really happy because I was going to play under the guidance of Randhir sir."
The former Pro Kabaddi League star also stated that PKL has completely changed a player’s outlook towards the sport. "Before the Pro Kabaddi League took place, we were only known by our friends and family members, even if we won any international tournaments. After the first season in 2014, when we came back after winning the Asian Games Gold Medal, we actually saw the impact of the league. There were 8,000–10,000 people waiting for us outside the airport, something that we had never witnessed before," Chhillar stated.