Patna, November 13: The scale of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 5 was by far the biggest from all its previous editions. In Season 5, the player’s fee went up significantly; four new franchisees were introduced thus increasing the number to 12 teams; the league was spread out for 13 weeks; increase in number of brands association and significant increase in audience numbers.
The final of Season 5 between Patna Pirates and Gujarat Fortunegiants was the most watched non-cricketing match ever in India. Overall, it was an exciting journey for everyone associated with the new format of Kabaddi.
However, news that remained constant for last three seasons of the league was the outcome of the final match. Patna Pirates won the championship thus becoming first team in the league to win three successive seasons of Pro Kabaddi. With two semi-final finishes and three titles, the Pardeep Narwal lead team are true Kabaddi heroes.
On Monday (November 13), Kabaddi champions returned home and were greeted by cheerful fans during the victory rally through the busy streets of Patna. During their rally, the team briefly took a break to address friends from media for their overwhelming support in making Kabaddi a popular sport. The parade culminated at Raj Bhawan with H.E Satya Pal Malik, Governor of Bihar felicitating the Patna Pirates winning squad.
Rajesh V Shah, owner of Patna Pirates said, “Our journey to championship had been scripted with indomitable character and unmatched talent of players who went out to perform in every match and gave their best. Team coach, Ram Mehar Singh worked hard and added new dimensions in the game making it exciting to millions of fans. One of the big take aways of the league was Pardeep Narwal, a talented youth in his 20 has now become a household name. We are very pleased that our team has made history by winning three successive seasons.
“I also thank AKFI for their valuable guidance to make this league popular. I thank Start Sports for putting up such a successful league and making this grass-root sport more scientific in its outlook. I am grateful to friends in media who have supported us all throughout. I thank team management, support staff and our Partners for their faith in this young talented team. In the end, it was gratifying to see large number of fans supporting the spirit of game during this long journey.
The inaugural match of the fifth edition of the Pro Kabaddi was played on July 28 and the final match was played in Chennai on October 28. The Pirates began their title defence with a four-match unbeaten streak in Season 5. As the league progressed the firm contenders could manage to win only 7 matches out of 14 while they lost four and ended up with a tie in three matches. However, Pardeep Narwal, Captain of Patna Pirates continued to set high standards for himself with every game as most successful raider. In combination with the Pirates' second raider Monu Goyat, the team scored more points than any team across the league. Irrespective of the result of the match Kabaddi fans enjoyed the tactical raids by Dubki King Pardeep Narwal.
At the end of the league matches, the team settled for the second spot in the Zone B. This resulted in taking the long-winding play-off route of winning two eliminators and a qualifier for a berth in the final.
Kabaddi aficionados experienced an exhilarating moment when Patna Pirates lifted the championship cup for the third time. The victory in ultimate matches was steered from the front by a talented Captain Pardeep Narwal. He was declared the most valuable player in Season 5 with 369 points. Vijay, Parveen Birwal, Arvind Kumar, Mohammad Maghsoudlou, Vishal Mane, Sachin Shingade, Monu
Goyat, Md. Zakir Hossain, Jaideep, Manish, Jawahar, Satish, Sandeep, Virender Singh, Vikash Jaglan, Vishnu Uthaman and Vinod proved true champions with an emphatic victory for Patna Pirates. Coach Ram Mehar Singh ensured the mental and physical fitness of players for high thumping matches.
Patna Pirates is the most consistent and successful team in Pro Kabaddi, which has reached play offs in all 5 seasons and was crowned as champions in Season 5, 4 and 3.