Patna Pirates Are ProKabaddi League Season 3 Champions

The final match of the ‘bestest’ of ProKabaddi League Season was as engaging and spectacular as the entire season has been. And by winning it Patna Pirates has capped it perfectly. U_Mumba by reaching its third straight final have showed that they are the team beat.

ProKabaddi League Season 3 was bound to be different one was a given when players moved across teams. Every team had different players – some not most. The way the final four were stacked is a proof and each match of season turned out to be outstanding.

With the TV commentators also giving a lot of emphasis on explaining the rules of ProKabaddi League, there was an increased understanding of the game among viewers and fans alike.

Watching the Final Live in Stadium

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Personally for me the best part of ProKabaddi League season 3 was watching the final panga live in the stadium in Delhi. And same was true for thousands of fans who had a rocking time. The 3-4 position watch between Pune and Bengal was impressive but the final between Patna and Mumbai was a really high octane encounter.

U_Mumba was beaten in strategy, execution and luck. Patna Pirates get everything right from the word go and in no time raced to a lead of almost 10 points. U_Mumba made a great comeback in second half and was all seemed to be lost for them, they put everything to tie the score with just a minute and half left on the clock.

While U_Mumba had to fire all cylinders, Patna only needed to stay calm and don’t do anything stupid and they did just that. They knew the pressure was on U_Mumba and waited for them to attack, get desperate and make mistakes which they couldn’t help.

In the end, Patna Pirates had a deserving win to grab the ProKabaddi League crown with crowd on its feet for most of the second half. It was a day to remember for Patna Pirates, its fans, spectators at the stadium and every fan of kabaddi across the globe.

What Needs to be Improved Next Time

For someone who has been fan of Pro ProKabaddi League from season 1, I have seen things getting better every season. There are few things that need to be taken care of in next season from a spectator’s perspective.

  • Booking tickets at BookMyShow is easy but collecting the tickets a day in advance from stadium is practically impossible, definitely a nuisance. If this could be done away with, nothing like it.
  • If not then the ticket counters should be more and widely spread and if game is in Delhi at least one counter should be in Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad each and 4-6 counters in Delhi.
  • I was almost sure that I’ll miss the game since I had not been able to collect the tickets and roamed around Delhi to finally get the tickets in time – not something any one would have wanted to do.
  • The initial SMS mentioned to collect tickets from Stadium but when I got struck in traffic I was told that the tickets were also available at another place in Old Delhi. If that is the case, spectators must be informed

A Revolution

I know it’s a strong and rather misused word but ProKabaddi League has in many ways revolutionized kabaddi in India. During the final match they mentioned it was being telecast to 100 countries across the globe. Let’s hope ProKabaddi League gets better and stronger with each passing season.

Pro Kabaddi League Season 3 from 30 January, 2016

Pro Kabaddi League Season 3 will start from 30th January, 2016. The league starts from Hyderabad with Season 2 winner UMumba taking on local team Telugu Titans. The Season 3 will come to end on the first weekend of March but the location and exact date has not been announced yet.

Finals at Delhi

For kabaddi lovers like me who live in Delhi NCR this season of Pro Kabaddi League could be great since the semifinals are scheduled at our very own Thyagaraj Sports Complex, Delhi on 4th March.  And not to forget the usual round of league games scheduled from February 24 to 27 at the same stadium in Delhi.

In season 2 we had a great time watching it live at Thyagaraj Sports Complex, Delhi and this time the excitement  is more. And yes, this time I’ll book tickets near the playing area and I’ll take my DSLR camera too.

Pro Kabaddi League Season 2

My fond memories from Season 2 of Pro Kabaddi League include Anand Mahindra’s tweet replying to my tweet, Arvind Kejriwal attending the match, Daler Mehandi singing national anthem and watching Chillar, Ajay Thakur and many other favorite players.

Looking forward to the Pro Kabaddi League Season 3. Find the schedule @ http://www.prokabaddi.com/schedules-fixtures

 

 

 

Watching Pro Kabaddi League Live

This was the day I have waited for long, getting to see live action of a high energy Pro Kabaddi League match. And we had Delhi CM, Deputy CM, Daler Mehandi and the biggest star of them all Sushil Kumar for company.

The evening started with Daler Mehandi singing the National Anthem in the company of Mr Kejriwal and the rest.

The first match was an OK encounter, it was the 2nd one that stole the thunder. I do have to confess though that I was tad disappointed that Ajay Thakur, the player who has learnt and honed hi skills at the SAI Hostel in Bilaspur (HP) – my home town, didn’t play to his potential.

Overall, it was a great evening. And yes, next year I am taking my DSLR with me.

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Pro Kabaddi League Season 2 Starts From July 18, 2015

Pro Kabaddi League season 2 starts from July 18 and it’s going to rock again. Like countless fans I have been waiting for the PKL season 2 dates to be announced and the schedule is finally out. And what brought even bigger smile to my face is the fapkl12ct that as I was losing patience, I tweeted to Mr Anand Mahindra on when are they going to announce the season 2 and he responded to my tweet. Thanks you sir  for rejuvenating kabaddi!

Pro Kabaddi League season 2 Calendar:

Here are the important dates for Pro Kabaddi League season 2

• Saturday, July 18, Mumbai: Kick off with UMumba vs Pink Panthers – picking up from 2014 finals
• From July 22, action moves to Kolkata
• On July 26, Jaipur will start rocking
• July 30, is when Patna will see live action
• On August 04, PKL goes to Hyderabad
• And finally, on August 08, Delhi will have its date with PKL. And I will be in the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium
• On August 12, Bengaluru will be the center of attraction
• And on August 16, Pune will become the last stop over for PKL’s league phase.
• Mumbai will have the honor of hosting the semi-finals on August 21 as well as the final on Sunday, August 23.

Find the complete schedule at http://prokabaddi.com/schedule/

Pro Kabaddi League season 2 teams:

The teams fighting for the top honors are same as last year.

1. BENGAL WARRIORS
2. BENGALURU BULLS
3. DABANG DELHI
4. JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
5. PATNA PIRATES
6. PUNERI PALTAN
7. TELUGU TITANS
8. U MUMBA

Find out more at http://prokabaddi.com/teams/

After somewhat surprising champion in season 1 in 2014(read more), I am not sure on whom should I put my money. The best part of the PKL was that every match was awesome and I am sure season 2 will be better and more enjoyable. And yes, this time I want to watch at least one match LIVE and become part of the madness.

Countdown has begun. All set for Thigh Fives!!!

Pro Kabaddi League 2014 Champion – Jaipur Pink Panthers

At the end of the Pro Kabaddi League 2014 final when Abhishek Bachchan and Ronnie Screwvala hugged, no one could guess whose team was the champion. That one moment can very well define the entire Pro Kabaddi League 2014. There were 8 teams, over 90 players, over 50 matches, lakhs of fans, an extravaganza spread over 1 month, 1 champion and on top of all this, the real winner perhaps being the game of kabaddi.

And they say kabaddi (read Pro Kabaddi League 2014) was the second most watched sport, that could sum it all up too.

Jaipur Pink Panther were on the roll in the final

The line-up for the semi-finals of Pro Kabaddi League 2014 was on the expected lines. Jaipur Pink Panthers, Bengaluru Bulls, U Mumba and Patna Pirates. Personally I thought the final would be between the Mumbai and Bangalore teams but that didn’t happen. In fact it was a little disappointing to see both my favourite teams losing their last matches of Pro Kabaddi League. Anyhow.

The way Jaipur Pink Panthers played in the finals, they deserved to win the match. But the way U Mumba played throughout the Pro Kabaddi League, may be they deserved to be the 2014 champions. But can’t take anything away from the eventual champions Jaipur Pink Panthers, they were on a roll and they won fair and square. The final score read 35-24 and there was that much difference between the two finalists.

Happy and proud faces of owners and players said it all

The excitement and smile on the faces of owners of Jaipur Pink Panthers; Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and of course the pride on the faces of the team members of the PKL champions lead by Navneet Gautam said it all. Congratulation to the Pro Kabaddi League 2014 Champions, Jaipur Pink Panthers .

U Mumba did all they could but fell at the last hurdle of PKL. But nothing can take away the success they achieved and the manner they played. Congratulations to owners Ronnie Screwvala and the team led by my favourite player of the Pro Kabaddi League 2014, Anup Kumar. You guys were awesome.

Bengaluru Bulls and Ajay Thakur came up short in the semi-final

In the other match of the evening, the match for the 3rd place in Pro Kabaddi League 2014, Bengaluru Bulls lost to Patna Pirates – a match they should not have lost. But from the word go, Patna Pirates were on the top of their game and never allowed Bengaluru Bulls to come even close to matching them.

It was a really off day for Ajay Thakur, my second favorite player (am a little biased too, Ajay Thakur is from Himachal Pradesh, my home state) and their captain Manjit Chillar. Both of them did try and so did their team mates but the day belonged to the Patna Pirates. They played like they had come to win and they succeeded too. The final score read 29-22 and it was a fantastic match.

Pro Kabaddi League season 2 in March 2015

Among all the raids and excitement, the biggest announcement came at the start itself as Anand Mahindra announced that the season 2 of Pro Kabaddi League is closer than many of us thought. The date is now set, it’s just 6 months away. Come March 2015 and we’ll see these teams fight it out again for the trophy of Pro Kabaddi League 2015. I am already feeling exited.

Thigh Five for the game of Kabaddi!!

Pro Kabaddi League – raids, defences, all outs, points and unlimited fun

“Isko nahin dekha, to kuch nahin dekha” – if you haven’t seen this, you haven’t seen anything. Pro Kabaddi League has arrived, period. And you don’t have to believe me, rather I hope you don’t. Just tune in to Star Gold or Star Sports every night at 8pm and get hooked.

It’ll take you one minute to get interested, three to get the adrenaline rush and in five you would have fallen in love with the game of Kabaddi. And if you have played or watched it closely while you were in school, you would be transfixed and be left asking for more.

The teams and the tournament

Pro Kabaddi league, as they are calling it, has eight city based teams and matches are being played across these cities. The team have some catchy names like Patna Pirates, U Mumba, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Dabang Delhi, Bengaluru Bulls, Bengal Warriors, Telugu Titans, Puneri Paltan. And their owners are the who’s who of Indian celebrities; Abhishek Bachchan, Ronnie Screwvala, Kishore Biyani and few others. You can see the owners shouting and encouraging their teams. And you could see Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and many other celebrities in the audience too.

The passion, the excitement, the zeal and the craziness that the players, the coaches and owners are showing in Pro Kabaddi League will surely rub off on you too.

The local strength and the global angle

Most of the players in Pro Kabaddi league are Indian and are from all over the country. But you can’t miss the South Koreans, Iranians, Japanese and even Turkmenistan players who stand out for not only their nationalities but their strong game too. The Top Raiders like Anup Kumar, Shabeer Bapu Sharfudheen, Ajay Thakur and Jang Kun Lee and the Top Defenders like Surender Nara, Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Manjit Chillar may not be household names, but trust me they are as amazing a sportsperson as one can be. They and many more like them are absolutely fantastic and their game a treat for the eyes.

Give them time and they’ll be the new id0ls, heartthrobs and rock stars of not just the Pro Kabaddi League.

The favourites and the underdogs

This is only the first edition of Pro Kabaddi league and the talk of the favourites and the underdogs seems a little unfair to me, honestly. Though the tournament is no where nearing the end of 2014 edition, yet there is a clear winner, and that is the game of Kabaddi. I have been thoroughly enjoying every minute of it, and I am sure so will you.

Just watch Pro Kabaddi League once! And your high fives will become Thigh Fives!!!

What shall you remember FIFA World Cup 2014 most for?

As Germany gets ready to beat Argentina tonight and in the process denies my favourite player Leo Messi the World Cup trophy, I thought this could be the apt moment to think back and ponder over what shall we remember FIFA World Cup 2014 most for? Once the final is played and World Cup champion emerges, the whole talk will be only about the winner, its players, its journey and its moments and how they got it right, so right now is perhaps the time for “what else?”

The things that pop right up in my mind are the humiliating 7-1 defeat of Brazil, Twitter-mania that followed the match and otherwise, Neymer Jr getting injured and sobbing at the press conference, Luis Suarez relishing Cellini’s flesh and a few other things.

Brazil’s Misery, Neymer’s Injury

The way Germany pumped those 7 goals past Julio Cesar would have not only crushed Julio’s spirit but the spirit of an entire nation. The hosts were left crying on and off the field. Many people just wished and hoped that what if they could turn back time, I mean Brazil had one bad day in the field but they still were the star team, till they faced the Dutch who reminded them once again that FIFA World Cup 2014 could never have been their Cup to keep at home.

Interestingly though the misery that Neymer Jr. was in due to the injury he got, well many felt he was lucky. After all history will show that he was not one of the Brazilian players who let a nation and countless fans across the world down. Though I personally felt worse when he shared the fact that had the injury been 2cm above, he would have been in the wheel chair.

Twitter Count Mounts and Luis Suarez wins Golden Teeth  

And the way Twitter’s tweet count kept mounting up during FIFA World Cup 2014, that surely broke records, even bigger than Germany’s triumph over Brazil itself. I myself tweeted, ‘RT’ed and ‘favourite’d quite a few times and made my contribution. As a matter of fact Twitter jokes were funnier when it came to the hungry Luis Suarez, though thankfully it did help him win the “Golden Teeth” trophy. And poor Suarez’s appetite was perhaps taken care of by the ban that FIFA imposed on him. It did him some good too, like giving him time to sign with Barcelona.

Like it, don’t like it; you couldn’t miss it

The other very interesting thing about FIFA World Cup though was the fact that non-stop news coverage through TV news channels, so many advertisements, Facebook updates, likes and shares, Twitter’s tweets, RTs and #tags, newspaper articles and commentaries, and something or the other in every other media made sure even if you didn’t like football, or u liked but were unable to follow the World Cup, you never missed a thing and found something of your own to remember FIFA World Cup 2014 for many years to come.

FIFA Football World Cup 2014: Time Schedule that works for Indians

As if the power cuts and load shedding wasn’t making our lives (residents of Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and surroundings) miserable with no AC, no fans, no cold water and no chilled beer, now the fear of no TV read no Football World Cup matches could make Delhi’s summer absolutely unbearable for many of us. Unless you have power back up that you save for the matches (if you use your own inverter) and you use DTH (cable TV might fail).

Match Schedule is complicated

And the fact that matches are going to be played in Brazil adds one more irritant – timing. Latin America is so far off from here that for us the world cup doesn’t even start on 12th practically and most of the matches are to be played at mid night (00:30am), a little later the next date (03:30am) or early morning (06:30am).  What to do, since it can’t be cured – changed, so it’ll be endured – enjoyed. However, there are a few matches that will be played at 9:30pm our time and that fits right into our most suitable time zone.

What we can still watch comfortably

For the benefit of everyone, here’s the schedule of matches which we can watch fairly comfortably.

FIFA Football World Cup 2014 Schedule

FIFA Football World Cup 2014 Schedule

In case you have decided you’ll not miss any match of the team you are supporting or any match of the Football World Cup, here’s the complete schedule for you (click for Football World Cup Schedule).

Who will win?  Whom are you supporting?

The last time, i.e., Football World Cup 2010, I had predicted that either Spain or England will take the cup home. This time, I don’t know.

My Prediction for 2010 Football World Cup

My Prediction for 2010 Football World Cup

Who do you think will win the cup this time? Spain, Germany, Brazil or some other team will surprise the world.  Which team are you supporting?

Who will win the Golden Boot? Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or here too someone will surprise the world.

In your football expert or crazy fan views the winners will be…

‘We did it for Sachin’ – When India won ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

“We did it for Sachin”, said Yuvraj. “Sachin has carried the burden of a nation for 21 years, it is time we carried him on our shoulders”, said Virat Kohli.

And, “ Disappointed but the better side won ”, said Sangakara.

May be just a few opinions of the players who lived the most memorable moment of their lives on 2nd April, 2011, but these did sum up the emotions of an entire nation and beyond, these could not have been more profound.

It is a day that people who love Indian cricket dearly and who were close to being indifferent to the most happening event for a long long time will never forget; not today, not tomorrow and not forever; it is a day to be cherished forever and ever.

India has won and won the ICC Cricket World Cup hands down-lets rejoice in the moment- it eventually is Team India’s gift to Sachin Tendulkar.

Not to be missed, Yuvraj Singh won the Man of the Tournament and he says it was for all, his teammates, his family, his gurus, and Sachin; not necessarily in this order.

The winner Indian team’s skipper M S Dhoni said it all when he said, “This was the goal we wanted to achieve and everyone gave his best”.

Indiaaaaaayaaaa….India….

An IPL match and a wasted evening in 2010..

In April 2010, I had watched my first cricket match live, right in the stadium. And I could totally relate with the team that eventually lost the match. They could not survive the designated 20 overs and I could not survive the match. It could be due to the one sided and boring match or the fact that I had straightaway went to the stadium after my early morning trip to Alwar. Either way it was too much for me to bear the agony for the entire duration of the match. So without any deliberations I decided to cut the match short and returned back to my room.

11042010020Though that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a memorable match for me, for it surely was. It was realization of a long cherished dream of mine to one day watch a cricket match right in the stadium. But it came too late, so late that I had lost interest in cricket matches and almost started hating IPL. But thanks to my friends who had got the ticket for me (for free i.e.) I decided to enjoy that dream eventually.

The first thing that I realized on watching some of the very popular cricketers in person was that it all was quite close to the cricket that we used to play during school days. On a TV it did feel a little different from the usual but as it turned out, it was only a feeling and nothing more. The other thing that I liked was the fact that I could watch what I wanted to watch and not what the advertisers and IPL organizers force upon you on your TV sets. Though I can’t deny the fact they did try their hardest in the stadium itself but I did feel like a winner.

As far as happenings on the ground are considered I can’t deny that instead of the 13 players in the field the more fascinating and enjoyable performance was offered by the 18 cheerleaders with their stages very judiciously arranged around the ground. Three cheers to the organizers for following a policy of nondiscrimination. Though (since grass is always greener on the other side) I did feel that the three cheerleaders to the left of our section were better in every way than the ones for our section, but I’ll let that pass.

There were few very interesting things about the crowd behavior in the stadium as well. The loud cheers for wanting batsman to hit 4s and 6s that we hear on TV were not exactly cheers from the crowd to begin with. It was the guy on the PA system who used to force people to shout for his and perhaps advertisers’ benefit. The crowd, as far as cricket is considered, on its own shouted for two things only, ONE for any 4, 6, or wicket irrespective of the home or the visitor team (too much talk of loyalty in IPL), and TWO, when their favorite cricketer came close to boundary line or waved at them. Rest of the time everyone was busy watching and cheering the cheerleaders.

Overall I can confess that had it not been a sponsored trip and a few other things I would have really cribbed a lot more than I eventually did. My sincere thanks to the cheerleaders and lest I forget, also to the Delhi girls most of whom looked really stunning, you people really were the saving grace of the day.

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