If we talk about the most watched league of 2017-obviously the Season 10 of Indian Premier League (IPL) takes the cake-Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 5 emerged second best after having created its own space in a cricket crazy nation.
The Indian Super League (ISL) and Premier Badminton League (PBL) were placed far behind, while rest of the other leagues such as table tennis, wrestling and futsal, are not worth a mention.
The IPL aside, PKL bagged all the limelight despite an extended season and expanded to 12 teams, to wrap-up the year on a high.
The experiment of having four more teams in the Season 5 saw the league extended to three long months and it certainly generated mixed response from the players as well as public but one could not deny the fact that the game continued to spread its wings among masses.
The sport which was considered as a game for villages, has spread into cities with even English Medium Schools beginning to play kabaddi. That itself is a remarkable achievement of PKL.
The Amateur Kabaddi Federation Of India (AKFI) and the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) played their cards well and certainly have made PKL their trump card since its inception in 2014.
After the emergence of league, Kabaddi took an upward surge and it has never looked back.
Anupam Goswami, league commissioner also gives credit to IKF and AKFI for the success of PKL saying that the two parent bodies supported the league wholeheartedly.
2018: Year of Challenges
The year 2018 will bring a new set of challenges for PKL, IKF and AKFI as it will be a tussle to run the important events in tandem.
PKL, which is hoping to have yet another three-month-long season, will need to squeeze in the schedule in such a way that it does not disturb the schedule of National and State championships.
For AKFI, challenge will be to keep players fresh for the whole season as along with PKL, players will be in action at 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
Kabaddi World Cup
Talks of hosting Kabaddi World Cup has already begun and if it happens then whether it will be hosted by defending champions, India, or IKF gives it to some other Asian nation a chance to host.
Flash back of 2017
Year 2017 saw Patna Pirates imprinting their name on the PKL trophy for the third time by defeating Gujarat Fortunegiants 55-38. Indian men and women team won gold medal in Asian Kabaddi Championship held in Gorgan, Iran. Men defeated Pakistan 36-22 while women scored 42-20 victory over Korea.