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Pro kabaddi League

Pro Kabaddi

Pro Kabaddi is an enterprise of Mashal Sports which has introduced new levels of professionalism to Kabaddi. This significant initiative highlighted the new, modern, International and competitive face of Kabaddi not only throughout the length and breadth of the country but beyond our shores. Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, which is promoted by Mashal Sports and Star India with the backing of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and International Kabaddi Federation, features about 220 players across 12 teams. The organizing company, Mashal Sports was co-founded by Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group and Mr. Charu Sharma, Director of Mashal Sports. Star India acquired a 74% stake in Mashal Sports, and now has control over the entire league as a majority owner of Mashal Sports. Mashal Sports has acquired the rights to organize the league for a period of ten years from International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) with an option to renew it further.

Pro Kabaddi is the brain child of Mr. Charu Sharma, renowned veteran sports commentator, television anchor, presenter & sports promoter who is also the Managing Director of Mashal Sports. Mr. Charu Sharma along with industrialist Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman Mahindra & Mahindra and Mr. Rupert Murdoch of Star TV teamed up to launch the Pro Kabaddi League in the year  2014 with eight teams.  i.e, Dabang Delhi, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Bengal Warriors, Patna Pirates, U. Mumba, Puneri Paltan, Telugu Titans & Bengaluru Bulls.

The Pro Kabaddi league became an instant hit with Indian sports fans in its very 1st season with eight teams in 2014 as 435 million* viewers tuned in. This modern league of India's ancient sport of Kabaddi has continued to grow from strength to strength in subsequent seasons. Its cumulative viewership growth of 51% over 4 seasons is the highest for any sports league in India. Within a short span of 2 years, Pro Kabaddi captured the imagination of Indian viewers and established itself as one of the highest impact television properties in key markets.

With the addition of 4 new teams in the year 2017 [Gujarat Fortune Giants, Haryana Steelers, Tamil Thalaivas & U P Yoddha] in Season 5, Pro Kabaddi geared up to surpass other Indian sports leagues in terms of geographic representation [ players from 11 states], number of matches (138  matches), and duration of the league (13 weeks)

Mr. Anand Mahindra’s quote - “Like every Indian, I was always aware of Kabaddi but it was my brother-in-law [Sharma] who reintroduced me to the sport. Charu had been providing commentary for the sport during the Doha Asian Games in 2006 and he enlightened me on how the game had evolved and almost reinvented itself into a modern, competitive international offering with a global fan following.

While Charu had piqued my interest, it was former NBA President, Heidi Ueberroth, who made me think about Kabaddi very seriously. In 2010, during her visit to India, Heidi mentioned being captivated by what she saw on Indian television. Given its fast paced, action-packed raids and the combination of strategy, teamwork and athleticism, she convinced me that Kabaddi was the ‘complete sport’ ideally suited for television audiences. I appealed to Charu’s entrepreneurial instincts to set up the Pro Kabaddi league. I was fascinated to learn that the sport has its origins in the Indian epics — to Abhimanyu’s raids into the Chakravyuha in the Mahabharata. Kabaddi is therefore a truly Indian sport, part of our history and heritage. The sport also encompasses many facets of athleticism — power, agility, stamina and courage. At the same time, kabaddi involves a fair amount of strategy and teamwork.

The more I learnt about the sport, the more I felt that this Indian sport, which has now gained global recognition, is ‘in a league of its own’ and therefore deserves a league of its own’.

“It is a matter of huge pride. It is a sport where the amount of skill required is immense. Having played sports at school level and being a sports enthusiast, it’s very exciting for me to be able to be part of this endeavour,” stated a very happy and contented Abhishek Bachchan owner of the Jaipur Pink Panthers Team.



Even for an optimist like me, the response we have seen for Kabaddi is surprising. Having seen its affinity in the country, it would be a disservice to the sport if we do not grow it further. All stakeholders have decided to come together to expand the league and given the pace at which this is growing, it might be just the first in a series of expansions in the coming years, said Chairman and CEO, Star India, Uday Shankar. Pro Kabaddi, India's fastest growing sports league, has signed on VIVO as the title sponsor.


Speaking about VIVO Pro Kabaddi, Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India said, “We are delighted to have VIVO as our title sponsor, as they happen to share a common vision with Star Sports to make Pro Kabaddi one of the finest leagues in the world. VIVO coming on board as the title sponsor is a significant milestone in the growth story of the league. Star Sports will continue its efforts to elevate the stature of the sport further.”

Anupam Goswami, Executive Head of Mashal Sports & League Commissioner VIVO Pro Kabaddi,  who was instrumental in leading & launching the business & broadcast programme of Kabaddi said, “With 4 new teams coming on board, we embarked upon a new journey with the biggest Kabaddi auction in history. This year, the stakes were higher than ever before. Franchises were prepared with strategic game plans, and were seen bidding fiercely to build robust teams. Every squad has a good mix of domestic, overseas and new young players.”


Mr. Jandaran Singh Gehlot, President, International Kabaddi Federation, a father figure to Indian Kabaddi, stated, “Pro Kabaddi is a truly unique example of how a modern league has transformed the much loved but traditional Kabaddi into a modern sport. Star Sports as well as Mashal have created a magnificent example for the growth of India as multi-sport nation.”

Pro Kabaddi generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm not only in the general public but in elite sportspersons of other games such as cricket. Stalwarts of the movie industry would attend the matches and were enthralled with its spectacular attraction. Many Bollywood & Tollywood heroes and film personalities have become involved with the teams, some as Ambassadors. Each one of them had an immediate connect with the sport played by them as a recreation game at some point in their lives. 

KABADDI RAO (E Prasad Rao) was with Prokabaddi since its inception in 2014 [Season -1 to date] as Technical Director. He was instrumental in the formation and execution of new rules in Pro Kabaddi which increased the game’s tempo & popularity. Later these new rules gained universal acceptance and have been adopted by the International Kabaddi Federation.

RESULTS OF PRO KABADDI - SEASON WISE  (courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro_Kabaddi_League#)

Season Final Final venue No. of teams Best raider (Most raid points) Best defender (Most tackle points) Best all-rounder (Most total points)
Winner Result Runner-up
2014 Jaipur Pink Panthers 35-24
SD = 11
U Mumba National Sports Club of IndiaMumbai 8 Anup Kumar Manjeet Chhillar Anup Kumar
2015 U Mumba 36-30
SD = 6
Bengaluru Bulls Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor StadiumMumbai 8 Kashiling Adake Ravinder Pahal Kashiling Adake
Patna Pirates 31-28
SD = 3
Hindi ReportReport
U Mumba Indira Gandhi Indoor StadiumNew Delhi 8 Pardeep Narwal Manjeet Chhillar Pardeep Narwal
Patna Pirates 37-29
SD = 8
Jaipur Pink Panthers Gachibowli Indoor StadiumHyderabad 8 Rahul Chaudhari Fazel Atrachali Rahul Chaudhari
2017 Patna Pirates 55-38

SD = 17

Gujarat Fortune Giants Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor StadiumChennai 12 Pardeep Narwal[34] Surender Nada Pardeep Narwal
2018 Bengaluru Bulls 38-33[35]

SD = 5

Gujarat Fortune Giants DOME@NSCI SVP STEDIUMMumbai 12 Pawan Sehrawat


Nitesh Kumar[37] Pawan Sehrawat


2019 Bengal Warriors 39-34[39]


Dabang Delhi The Arena Indoor StadiumAhmedabad 12 Pawan Sehrawat[40] Fazel Atrachali Pawan Sehrawat