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12.8 lakh to 1.65 crore - How PKL changed the fortunes of Kabaddi stars

The highest-paid amount paid to a player has seen a rise of a whopping 1189% from the first to the eighth season of PKL.

Pro Kabaddi League Media Rights Star India Network

Pro Kabaddi League (Source: Twitter/PKL)


Abhijit Nair

Published: 10 Dec 2021 5:07 PM GMT

Kabaddi was mainly a rural sport in India up until seven or eight years back. However, the sport has since undergone a major transition, thanks to the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).

The PKL has not only modernised the game of Kabaddi with radical changes in the rules but has also managed to make it a fan favourite amongst Indian masses. The fast-paced gameplay coupled with the glitter of celebrities made the league and the sport an instant hit.

That is not just it. The PKL also changed the lifestyle of the Kabaddi stars from across the globe. From being unknown entities the likes of Anup Kumar, Pardeep Narwal and others became household names.

Furthermore, it is quite a possibility that if you go towards the eastern sides of India, Bengal and Bihar to be more specific, Jang-Kun Lee could be the most popular and loved Korean in the region.

The impact of all of these can also be seen in the paycheck of the players. From a mere INR. 12.8 lakh in the first season to INR. 1.65 crores in season 8, there has been a steady increase in the money pocketed by the players. 'Steady' is probably an understatement because that's a whopping 1189% jump in just eight years!

The highest-paid player in the first season of the PKL was former Indian captain and the now coach of Haryana Steelers Rakesh Kumar with a sum of INR. 12.8 lakh. This figure saw an immediate 65% rise in the next season as Hadi Oshtorak was bagged by the Telugu Titans for INR. 21.1 lakh.

The Bengaluru Bulls then increased the stakes by a massive 151% to bag defender Mohit Chillar for INR. 53 lakh in the fourth season.

Highest amount paid to players in PKL

The only time there was a dip in the highest amount paid to a player was when the Telugu Titans bought Siddharth Desai for INR. 1.45 crore in season 7, 4% down from the 1.51 crore offered by the Patna Pirates to Monu Goyat in the previous edition.

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