The second most-watched sports league in India after IPL, Pro Kabaddi League kicks off its ninth season on 7th October 2022.
PKL has come a long way since its inception in 2014 and has gone on to add more fans every year.
A total of six teams have won the PKL title. Jaipur Pink Panthers were the inaugural champions, Patna Pirates have won it three times and Dabang Delhi are the current champions.
With the 9th season on the way, let us look at the previous eight champions of the Pro Kabaddi League.
PKL 1 (2014)- Jaipur Pink Panthers
The very first season of the Pro Kabaddi League was a huge success. Jaipur Pink Panthers became the champions defeating a strong U Mumba in the finals.
U Mumba Captain Anup Kumar was named the Most Valuable player of the tournament but he couldn't guide his team to the trophy.
PKL 2 (2015)- U Mumba
The second season of PKL saw U Mumba led by the legendary Anup Kumar emerge as Champions. One of the most dangerous Kabaddi teams to be assembled, U Mumba had the charisma of Anup Kumar, the solidity of Mohit Chillar and Surender Nada and the youth of Rishank Devadiga.
They defeated the rampaging Bengaluru Bulls in the finals by 36-30 to claim what they lost one year back against Jaipur.
Manjeet Chillar couldn't take his team home but he was named the MVP of season 2.
PKL 3 (2016)- Patna Pirates
Pro Kabaddi League saw the emergence of another new champion in the third season which will dominate it for a long. Led by the experienced Manpreet Singh, Patna Pirates emerged as the dominant force. Pardeep Narwal was the young star of the campaign and Patna defeated previous champions, U Mumba, in the finals.
The young charismatic raider Pardeep Narwal was awarded the most valuable player of the tournament.
PKL 4 (2016)- Patna Pirates
2016 saw two seasons of Pro Kabaddi and both were won by Patna Pirates. The pirates created many records on their second win. They defeated first-season champions Jaipur Pink Panthers in the finals to take the trophy home.
Led by the young raider Pardeep Narwal, Patna were clinical throughout the season. Pardeep's raiding partner, Rohit Kumar took home the trophy of Most Valuable player.
PKL 5 (2017)- Patna Pirates
Patna Pirates cemented their place in PKL history after winning their title in a row and it was the same man again, Pardeep Narwal to lead them here. Patna defeated Gujarat Giants in the finals to take the trophy home.
It was a dominant performance from Patna and they finished with a scoreline of 55-38 in the finals.
Pardeep Narwal was named the MVP for his raiding performance and leading his team to finals.
PKL 6 (2018)- Bengaluru Bulls
In 2018, the Bengaluru Bulls won their first PKL championship. They defeated the Gujarat Giants in the championship game to win Pro Kabaddi. The franchise centred in Bengaluru had Pawan Kumar Sehrawat as its hero.
The Bulls won 13 of their 22 games to take the top spot in the Zone B PKL points standings. They defeated Gujarat Giants in Qualifier 1 to earn 78 points and a place in the finals.
Bengaluru Bulls skipper Pawan Sehrawat was named the MVP for his monstrous raiding exploits.
PKL 7 (2019)- Bengal Warriors
Bengal Warriors won their first Pro Kabaddi title in 2019. In the seventh season, the team from Kolkata made it to the finals for the first time. They met another first-time finalist, Dabang Delhi KC.
The final was won by Bengal 39–34. They were placed second in the league round earlier in the competition by winning 14 of their 22 games. Bengal finished with 83 points. In the semifinal, they defeated U Mumba.
Young Naveen Kumar from runner-ups Dabang Delhi was the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
PKL 8 (2021-2022)- Dabang Delhi
Dabang Delhi got a second time lucky as they defeated the most successful team in PKL History, Patna Pirates. Dabang Delhi became the sixth team to lift the championship and third after the dominant three-peat of Patna Pirates.
Winning it by the barest of margins, Delhi edged Patna in a thriller by 37-36. Naveen was again named the MVP and became the second player ever to win MVP twice in PKL history.