The eighth season of Pro Kabaddi, that was postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic ,is set to return in December 2021, organisers Mashal Sports announced in a release on Thursday.

The player auction ahead of the new season will be held from August 29-31.

“We are excited about the return of PKL after two years as it is home to top-quality kabaddi for fans in India and the world. There is immense excitement among players as we get ready for the player auctions for Season 8. We are sure to find more heroes through the upcoming auctions as we have in the last several seasons,” said PKL League Commissioner Anupam Goswami.

The last season of Pro Kabaddi was held in 2019 which was won by Bengal Warriors.

Kabaddi players were deprived of competitions for the most part of 2020 due to the pandemic. Major Kabaddi action in India resumed with the national championship that was held in April 2021. Pawan Sehrwat-led Indian Railways stormed to their third successive title.

A lot of youngsters had some promising performances in the kabaddi nationals and all eyes will be on those youngsters at the kabaddi auctions.

The return of Pro Kabaddi will be a relief for Indian and international players especially with the Asian Games less than a year away. Iran who claimed gold medals in both men’s and women’s competitions will be hoping to send more players to the PKL so that they get exposure at the highest level at the Games.

Iran is an aging side and will hope some new youngsters can gain valuable experience in Pro Kabaddi. However, it remains to be seen how foreign participation will be given the pandemic in India.

“It’s been a tough year for athletes across all sports, and as a kabaddi player, I have been eagerly awaiting the resumption of the Pro Kabaddi League. It will be interesting to see the strategies that the various teams will deploy in the auctions this time,” Deepak Niwas Hooda, Indian kabaddi team captain said.

“The announcement of the player auction dates could not have come at a better time for all kabaddi players. It has been a long wait, but players have been working hard on their skills and fitness. All eyes will be on the young talent available at the auction. I am sure that all teams will come well prepared for the auction,” Puneri Paltan coach Anup Kumar said.