Pro Kabaddi League 2018: Sixth season to kick start in Chennai on 5 October; Kochi to host initial playoff matches

The sixth season of Pro Kabaddi will begin in Chennai on 5 October 2018, and will travel across 13 cities, with the final showdown in Mumbai on 5 January 2019. Just like last year, the 12-team league will begin with a clash between Tamil Thalaivas and Telugu Titans with the former playing the host this time around.

The league will follow exactly the same format as the previous edition. The 12 participating teams have been divided into two zones of six teams each, where each team will be playing a set of 15 intra-zone and seven inter-zone matches. In addition, there will be one more round of inter-zone games called the Wildcard matches, the fixtures of which will be decided by a random draw that is scheduled to take place during the first leg in Chennai. The playoff stage will comprise of three eliminators, two qualifiers and the finals.

Patna Pirates' Pardeep narwal was the best player in season five of the Pro Kabaddi League. Image courtesy: Twitter @ProKabaddi

Patna Pirates' Pardeep narwal was the best player in season five of the Pro Kabaddi League. Image courtesy: Twitter @ProKabaddi

In a first in the competition's brief history, Kochi will play host to PKL matches. The initial part of the playoff games will be held in the capital of Kerala, before the tournament reaches its conclusion in Mumbai in the first week of the new year.

Defending champions Patna Pirates are expected to shift their base back to Patna after playing their home matches in Ranchi last season. However, U Mumba who were reportedly planning to host their home leg away from Mumbai will continue to play in the financial capital in the sixth edition. The home base of UP Yoddha remains unclear with the team considering hosting its home matches in Greater Noida instead of Lucknow, but the franchise is yet to confirm the venue for its home leg. The rest of the host cities will be the same as last season.

Three-time champions Patna Pirates will look to add a fourth straight title to their kitty, but the likes of Puneri Paltan who have come close to lifting the title in previous seasons will be more determined than ever. Last year's runners-up Gujarat Fortunegiants who finished top of Zone A and were the first team to reach the final would be looking gain revenge for last year's defeat by going a step better in 2018. Fallen giants U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers who are under new coaches this season will look to make amends for their failures in recent campaigns.

The teams got a chance to reshuffle their pack ahead of the season through the auction process where the franchises spent a total of Rs 45.93 crore with five players breaching the Rs 1 crore mark. Monu Goyat became the most expensive player in kabaddi history after he was purchased for a lofty sum of Rs 1.53 crore by the Haryana Steelers. The teams' performance in the auctions will have a big influence on the way they perform in the upcoming campaign.

The three-month long league will be aired on Star Sports Network and on Hotstar.

For full schedule of Pro Kabaddi League, click here 

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Updated Date: Aug 22, 2018 22:43:46 IST