Play-off round of PKL-7 begins in Ahmedabad tomorrow, Final on Oct 19; Rs 8 crore prize money at stake

Ahmedabad: The play-off round for the season 7 of the Pro Kabaddi League will begin here tomorrow at Transstadia during which a total prize money of Rs 8 crore including Rs 3 crore for the title winner and Rs 1.8 crore for the runners up would be at stake.

The final will be played on October 19. The 3 rd and 4 th position teams would also get Rs 90 lakh each while 5 th and 6th place getters would get Rs 45 lakh each.

The top six teams based on overall points will fight it out for the Championship with the top two teams Dabang Delhi KC and Bengal Warriors having automatically qualified for the semi-finals. The remaining four will fight it out in the Eliminators tomorrow.

The first clash will be between defending champions Bengaluru Bulls and UP Yoddha at 7.30pm. followed by U Mumba taking on Haryana Steelers at 8.30pm. The two winners of these Eliminators will progress to the next stage where they take on the big two; Dabang Delhi K.C. and Bengal Warriors in the semi-finals on October 16.
The spectators here would of-course miss home side Gujarat Fortune Giants which had made to the finals in the first two seasons it played but this time could not make it to the play- off round.

On the eve of the beginning of the play-off matches the captains of the six teams talked to the media here. On being table-toppers and making it directly to the semi-finals, Joginder Narwal, Captain, Dabang Delhi K.C. said, “Kabaddi is a game that is loved by all Indians and I know that Dabang Delhi has supporters across India. So I’m sure we will receive a lot of support from our fans even here in Gujarat. The competition is now getting tougher as we head into the ‘Toughest Week’. This is the first time Dabang Delhi has qualified for the semi-finals, we are not under pressure, but it is the team’s and my wish to emerge as the Champions this season. All the teams are strong but the one that will make more mistakes will be eliminated.”

Bengal Warriors Captain, Esmaeil Nabibakhsh spoke about the journey and semi-finals match, “The journey this season has been incredible, and the team has given its best to make it to the Top 2. We are now preparing for the semi-finals, and are aware that the game will be tough. We began the season on a positive note, and we intend to finish it as Champions.”

Young captain of UP Yoddha, Nitesh Kumar said he is confident as the team steps into Eliminator 1. He added , “The tough battle begins here, one mistake and we are out. The team has worked and prepared hard to ensure that we give our best against a strong offensive Bengaluru Bulls team. During the league stage, we won both games against Bengaluru Bulls which helps our confidence but this one is going to be the toughest and a win will take us into the Semi-Finals.”

On locking horns with UP Yoddha – Pawan Sehrawat, Captain of the defending champions – Bengaluru Bulls said, “The league stages were tough but it allowed us to study our opponents as we played them more than once. However, now that we are in a knock out situation, we have to play to our strengths. We have a strategy in place against UP Yoddha’s strong defensive squad and we will do our best to ensure we retain the Title.”

Speaking on battling it out with Haryana Steelers, Fazel Atrachali, Captain, U Mumba said, “During the league stage, if we lose one match, we know we have a chance to go back and work on our mistakes to improve. Tomorrow’s match is a Do-or-Die situation, if we lose, our season is over and we go back home. Haryana is a strong team and they too will come with a plan to limit us but as a team we are confident and are taking one step at a time. We will give our 100% and aim to win the match.”

Haryana Steelers, Captain, Dharmaraj Cheralathan shared his thoughts on the clash against Haryana Steelers, “We have had a good league stage, the team has performed well and built on their strengths, which brings a good balance to our team. We are focused on our match against U Mumba and have won a match and lost the other one against them. So, for the Eliminator we will be looking to execute a strategy based on our learnings from the previous games of this season. As a team, our ultimate aim is to emerge as champions of Season 7.”


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