The Pro Kabaddi Season 6 will be remembered for the number of youngsters to break through and make a lasting impact. PKL 6 was considered a young man’s game and old war heads like Anup Kumar, Jasvir Singh, Rajesh Mondal etc struggled some old men did prove their mettle and rubbed shoulders with the youngsters. We look at the old warhorses who still proved that they belong to the top. The article looks at players at the age of 32 and above.
Manjeet Chhillar: Manjeet Chhillar was bought by Tamil Thalaivas at the auction for the base price of just 20 lakhs much to the surprise of everyone in the Kabaddi circles. The move proved to be a master stroke for the Thalaivas as Manjeet was comfortably the pick of the Tamil Thalaivas defenders scoring 59 tackle points in 19 matches at an average of 3.11 tackle points per match. The 32-year old played a pivotal role in whatever little success the Thalaivas in PKL 6. “Mighty Manjeet” in PKL 6 also became the first person in PKL history to reach 300 tackle points.
Ajay Thakur: Before the season started there were some doubts whether Ajay Thakur would be able to replicate last season’s performances due to his advancing age, but Ajay Thakur answered the doubters with another stellar season. The 32-year old scored 203 raid points, the 2nd time in 2 seasons he has crossed more than 200 raid points almost single handedly leading the Thalaivas raiding department due to the below par seasons suffered by Jasvir Singh and Sukesh Hegde. The Tamil Thalaivas Captain old became only the 3rd player to reach 700 raid points in PKL and is 3rd behind Pardeep Narwal and Rahul Chaudhari.
Jeeva Kumar: Jeeva Kumar struggled for form and fitness at the start of the campaign missing 5 matches and even upon his return looked a shadow of the great player he was, but just as U.P Yoddha’s campaign looked to be coming to a disappointing conclusion Jeeva stepped up and reminded everyone of his class with string of consistent displays. The 37-year old played a big part in upsetting favourites U Mumba in the first eliminator with a brilliant High 5 which tamed U Mumba’s Siddharth Desai. Jeeva ended the campaign with 40 tackle points.
Prashanth Rai: Prashanth Kumar Rai was a bit part player for his previous teams, and he was never considered more than a squad player or a support raider at best, but the Karnataka native showed signs of exploding at Haryana Steelers in the limited opportunities he got. U.P Yoddha recognized his potential and splashed 79 lakhs to secure him in the auction. The 33-year old emerged as the lead raider for U.P Yoddha scoring 144 raid points, the Karnataka man’s absence from the team due to injuries was a big factor in U.P’s campaign derailing and fittingly his super raid against U Mumba in the penultimate match led the platform for their qualification to the play-offs where he was brilliant helping U.P Yoddha finish third.
Joginder Narwal: Joginder Narwal suffered a career threatening injury last season with U Mumba with many insiders believing that Joginder’s best days were well and truly behind him. Dabang Delhi showed faith in him by acquiring him for 33 lakhs and also made him the Captain for PKL 6. “Jogi” responded by having his best ever PKL season scoring 51 tackle points. The 36-year old’s partnership with opposite corner Ravinder Pahal and his intelligent use of raiders played a big part in Delhi making the play-offs for the first time in PKL history.