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The season opens on Saturday, July 20th, 2019 on the Star Sports Network and Hotstar. • Live coverage of the opening match starts at 7:00PM between the home favourite Telugu Titans and U Mumba, followed by the second match at 8.30pm between defending champions Bengaluru. Bulls take on three-time winner Patna Pirates. • July 20th is announced as the ‘World’s Toughest Day’. Hyderabad, July 19, 2019: VIVO Pro Kabaddi League, one of the most-anticipated sporting events of the calendar is back with Season 7, beginning on July 20, 2019 in Gachibowli, Hyderabad. Unveiling the coveted trophy, the captain of all 12 teams came together to speak about the excitement for the upcoming season. Twelve captains of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 ahead of the league that begins on July 20 The toughest 12 representing each team as captains; Maninder Singh from Bengal Warriors, Joginder Narwal from Dabang Delhi, Sunil Kumar from Gujarat Fortunegiants, Rohit Kumar from defending champions-Bengaluru Bulls, Dharmraj Cherlathan from Haryana Steelers, Deepak Hooda from Jaipur Pink Panthers, Pardeep Narwal from Patna Pirates, Surjeet Singh from Puneri Paltans, Ajay Thakur from Tamil Thalaivas, Abozar Mohajermighani from Telugu Titans, Nitesh Kumar from UP Yoddha, Fazel Atrachali from U Mumba were in attendance ahead of the league opening in Hyderabad. Ajay Thakur, captain, Tamil Thalaivas, “Rahul and I have been playing for some time now for team India and we have great chemistry, but this is the first occasion where both of us will be seen together in PKL. I believe it is going to be a great for our fans as well to watch us supporting each other during the game. I have always believed that hard work pays off and we have been working very hard for the success of our team. Once the season is underway, we will be able to tell easily who are the teams that have worked hard to improve.” Abozar Mohajermighani, captain, Telugu Titans, “Our team composition is made up of strong raiders, a strong defense line and moreover good coaches, so you can call us the strongest team in the competition. Our players are fit and have been practicing continuously for the tournament. We will have a plan to approach every match and aim to win one match at a time. Our performances in the previous years have been strong and I hope we are able to make it to the semi-finals this year”. Fazel Atrachali, captain, U Mumba, “We fought hard last season and we will continue to do the same this year as well. Having Sidharth last season was a big plus for us, but this season also we have youngsters with us who have shown the same dedication and promise as Sidharth. Sidharth and I know each other well and we do have a plan to tackle him which you will see in the game tomorrow”. Deepak Hooda, captain, Jaipur Pink Panthers, “We have 8 to 9 youngsters in our team this year and this new talent will certainly bring some energy and help the team to win matches. We have been practicing very hard and the youngsters have shown the right intent and hard work necessary to play games at this level. As a team we will be focusing on all our matches one at a time. We will be playing all the teams and so it will be interesting to see the performance of the players against each of the teams”. Nitesh Kumar, captain, UP Yoddha, “Being the youngest captain is not added pressure for my game and performance. My goal for this season is to ensure that I put in 100% into my game and prove myself as well as ensure that the team makes it to the finals.” Joginder Narwal, captain, Dabang Delhi KC, “Our performance last season was very encouraging, and the team has been training with the same energy and passion for the last one and a half months at the camp in Delhi. Last season, the only place we lacked was our defense and we've worked hard to make sure we don't repeat the same mistakes. This year, the players on defense have meticulously practiced their skills and are close to perfecting them. Last year, we made it all the way to the semi-finals and this year, we hope to make it to the finals.” Rohit Kumar, captain, Bengaluru Bulls, “All teams are extremely competitive, but I believe Gujarat Fortunegiants and Tamil Thalaivas are our strongest competitors this season. This year, we aim to win maximum of the matches and even if we lose, I will hope to lose with the minimum difference. The 45-day long camp has made us train and practice extremely hard and with that intensity we will prepare for the match against Patna Pirates tomorrow and give our 100% and try to win the first match of the season.” Surjeet Singh, captain, Puneri Paltans, “We have a very good combination of both senior and new young players this season which makes a very strong team as we have the best of the talent. We have gotten some new talent and have practiced on our skills and techniques to make sure we give the best of our performance on the mat.” Sunil Kumar, captain, Gujarat Fortunegiants, “This season, just like last season, we have got a lot of new young talent which we believe will be our secret weapons. They will not only enthrall and surprise the audience but also our opponents on the mat. We are looking forward and putting all our efforts to make sure we win the finals this time.” Pardeep Narwal, captain, Patna Pirates, “We’ve won the championship thrice and we will do it again this season. We are a strong and balanced side and there’s nothing that will stop us. Personally, I’m also working on some new moves which you’ll see on the mat in our opening game already.” Haryana Steelers, captain, Dharmraj Cherlathan, “We have trained very hard and worked on perfecting our skills and building new techniques and strategizing our gameplay. The team is mentally and physically prepared for the new season, and we aim to play well with strategic and smart thinking. The competition of the toughest season ever begins.” Maninder Singh, captain, Bengal Warriors, “With Season 7 around the corner, there is a lot of excitement and pressure. I am looking forward to getting back in the game with fierce competitiveness that the new format has brought, we have trained very rigorously for the same and are looking forward to picking the trophy home this year.” Hyderabad has welcomed all teams of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 7 to their city. Telugu Titans will be looking forward to playing their first match in their home city with the fans in Hyderabad being known for cheering all their favourite teams with an unmatched energy. Star Sports continues to deepen its penetration into regional markets by offering the best of sporting action customised in the preferred language of each major market. Providing live and non-live content, Star Sports will have experts, commentators and players for all Season 7 VIVO Pro Kabaddi League programming in 7 languages across channels including Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Kannada, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Bangla, and the newly launched Start Sports 1 Marathi. VIVO Pro Kabaddi League 7 begins on July 20th, 2019 at the Gachibowli Stadium, Hyderabad. The opening game will be played between Telugu Titans and U Mumba and the second match of the day will see the defending Champions, Bengaluru Bulls take on the three-time champions, Patna Pirates. The LIVE coverage of the new season will begin at 7:00 pm with the pre-show KBD LIVE, whilst matches will begin at 7:30 pm and will broadcast on the Star Sports Network and Hotstar.