Since its inception in 2014, the Pro Kabaddi League has had a big impact on the game in our country. The popularity of our country’s traditional sport has grown in the previous five years, as seen by the success of the Pro Kabaddi League.
As a result, every season is eagerly awaited by the fans. The League has never failed to provide top-notch entertainment to its viewers. And, because kabaddi is the fastest-growing sport in India and is becoming quite famous in countries around the world. So we thought we’d take a look at the top ten players in the sport’s history.
1. Pardeep Narwal (UP Yoddah)
If you want to leave your mark on the sport of kabaddi, being known as the “Dubki King” isn’t too bad. Narwal is presently the captain of UP Yoddah and is the game’s greatest raider of all time.
His list of trophies is almost limitless. Some of his career highlights include being the all-time leading point scorer, having the most successful raids, having the most Super 10s, and being the first person to win back-to-back MVP titles.
2. Rahul Chaudhari (Jaipur Pink Panthers)
Transforming from defender to raider is uncommon in the VIVO pro kabaddi league. But Rahul Chaudhari has made it look easy and is one of the kabaddi’s most dangerous raiders.
Due to his flair raiding and expensive lifestyle, the Indian national team member is often known as a showman inside the sport. On the court, his signature flowing hand touch has helped him become a PKL icon.
Chaudhari is only the third player in history to have 1,000 raid points and is a PKL veteran, having played in every season to date.
3. Manjeet Chhillar (Retired)
Manjeet Chhillar is an Indian former professional kabaddi player who is now the Telugu Titans’ assistant coach. During his pro career, he represented India, winning gold medals in the 2014 Asian Games and the 2014 Asian Indoor Games in Incheon.
He has played for the Bengaluru Bulls, Puneri Paltan, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Tamil Thalaivas, and Dabang Delhi in the Pro Kabaddi League. For his athletic exploits, the Government of India awarded the Arjuna Award to him. Chhillar described receiving the prestigious honour as a ‘dream’ in an exclusive interview with NNIS Sports.
4. Anup Kumar (Retired)
Next on our list is the man regarded as the “God of Kabaddi.”
Kumar’s journey began in lowly background when he used to play the sport as a child to pass the time. He is one of the game’s most prolific raiders. He spent five years with U Mumba before going on to the Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Kumar’s most notable fame was captaining the Indian national team to gold medals at both the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games. Kumar won one MVP award during his career. But his status as one of the sport’s earliest superstars puts him to the ranks of the game’s all-time greats.
5. Deepak Niwas Hooda (Bengal Warriors)
Hooda’s backstory is a tragic one.
His mother died when he was four years old, and his father died in 2013. He was born to a farming family in Chamaria village in Haryana’s Rohtak district. Hooda, on the other hand, has utilised kabaddi to improve his life, becoming known as one of the sport’s most clinical all-rounders.
Hooda’s PKL statistics are great, with almost 1,100 total points scored, 250 tackles, and 2,000 raids. Furthermore, Hooda has been named India’s captain, a position he will hold till the end of 2019.
6. Pawan Sehrawat (Tamil Thalaivas)
Pawan Sehrawat made his PKL debut in dramatic fashion during the league’s sixth season, scoring 282 points, 22 of which came in the Bull’s finals victory over Gujarat Giants.
That season, Sehrawat was the MVP. The next year, he set a PKL record by scoring 39 points in a single game.
These efforts have not gone unnoticed; Sehrawat was recently traded from the Bulls to the Tamil Thalaivas for a record cost of 2.26 crore, which is roughly $280,000.
Unfortunately, Sehrawat hasn’t played much in the 2022 season after suffering a catastrophic knee injury barely 10 minutes into the season opener.
We would all love to see Sehrawat contribute to his legacy once he is fully fit.
7. Fazel Atrachali (Puneri Paltan)
Fazel “Sultan” Atrachali is the sole non-Indian on this list.
Born in Iran, Atrachali has dominated the PKL, establishing himself as the best defender in the league’s history.
He not only has the most successful tackles of all time (379). But he is also the only player to have 400 tackle points. Atrachali has also won the Best Defender title twice, most recently in season 7, with an incredible 82 tackle points.
In Season 4, he had 45 tackle points to assist the Patna Pirates in winning the championship.
As an Iranian national, Atrachali is not only breaking the pattern in the VIVO pro kabaddi league but also shaking up worldwide competitions.