Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) to return in July for Season 11

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The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), India’s premier kabaddi tournament, is set to return for its 11th season in July 2024. This marks a significant shift from the previous two seasons, which were held in the December-February window due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is PKL returning in July for Season 11?

The decision to move the tournament back to its original July-September window was influenced by several factors:

  1. Less Cluttered Sporting Calendar: The major reason is that July to September is considered a period with the least cluttered sporting calendar in India. This allows the PKL to gain maximum attention and viewership. The broadcaster Star Sports who played a key role in the origin of PKL has expressed their desire to shift the tournament to July.
  2. Strategic Timing: The tournament is strategically scheduled to commence shortly after the conclusion of the ICC T20 World Cup, whose final is set to take place on June 29. This ensures that there is no overlap between these major sporting events.
  3. Player Auction: The auction for Season 11 is expected to take place in the last week of May. This falls right after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and provides a comfortable gap before the first match of the ICC T20 World Cup. This window provides ample time for franchises to assemble their teams and prepare for the upcoming season.

Impact of the Shift

The shift back to the July-September window is expected to have several positive impacts:

  1. Increased Viewership: With less competition from other sports, the PKL is likely to attract more viewers.
  2. Better Preparation Time for Teams: The strategic timing of the player auction allows teams to have sufficient time to prepare for the season.
  3. Continuity of the Tournament: Returning to the original schedule helps maintain the continuity of the tournament and aligns with the expectations of the fans who are accustomed to the July-September window.

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