PKL has given us recognition and identity, says Season 1 MVP Anup Kumar

Mumbai: Being developed in India, kabaddi has always had a strong connection with the people of India. And with the advent of the Pro Kabaddi League, the game has grown to another level in the last nine years. The organizers of the league introduced unique innovations to the game and packaged the sport brilliantly for television. Today, the sport has millions of fans from around the world and more importantly, the players have gone on to become role models over the last nine seasons of PKL!

The Pro Kabaddi League is on the cusp of completing its landmark tenth season this year and it's time to celebrate the glorious journey. As we build toward the landmark edition, PKL will be looking back at some of the biggest moments through the PKL MVP's Special Memories content series. Each of the players who have won the Most Valuable Player Award will speak about how PKL has changed their lives.

While reminiscing the ten seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League, the MVP award winner in the inaugural season of the Pro Kabaddi League - Anup Kumar expressed that the league has given the kabaddi players an identity, "Many people have money, but it's not only about money. A player's identity is made through his performance and nature. And PKL has given us an identity. Today, we are recognized when we walk in public places.  Being recognized by people has been the biggest change in my life."

Anup Kumar, who scored 527 raid points in 91 matches, also spoke about the pressure the players felt ahead of the inaugural season in 2014, "We were under pressure to perform well since we needed to ensure that PKL continues for a long time. We were worried that PKL could close down if we were not able to perform well in Season 1. Therefore, the players and the coaches worked very hard to make the opening season a big hit."

The Pro Kabaddi League is all set to take its first step towards the grand tenth season through the Player Auction in September. As the excitement for the PKL Season 10 Player Auction builds in the air, the former PKL star said, "Pawan Sehrawat was the only player to cross the INR 2 crore mark last season. I hope that players, who have been performing well, are picked up for high amounts. I hope that the top 20-25 players attract big bids so that they can strengthen their financial valuation even more."

When asked about his favourite moment from his own PKL journey, Anup Kumar said, "Lifting the trophy in the second season with U Mumba is the best moment of my PKL journey. It gave me even more happiness than what I felt when I won the MVP award in Season 1."

The Pro Kabaddi League Season 10 Player Auction will be held from 8-9 September 2023 in Mumbai. The dates for the tenth season of PKL will be announced soon.