PKL | Three countries no longer part of tournament
We are just two days away from finding the winners of PKL season nine, and it has been one glorious ride over the last two months. Players from India and other nations have shone brightly throughout the tournament raising hopes for the seasons to come; which could grow sport in other nations too.
A league that is still dominated by the Indians, has a strong Iranian, South Korean, Kenyan, and Bangladeshi presence. In fact, players from these countries have been strong pillars for their teams and have contributed heavily to their successes. But prior to this, there were three more nations in the league, who had made their presence felt but are no longer part of the tournament.
SportsCafe takes a look at the nations and the players who were once a part of the league:
Waseem Sajjad, a standout defender from Pakistan played with the Patna Pirates during the Pro Kabaddi League's first season. Sajjad made some outstanding tackles for the Patna-based team. Fans still talk about his tackle on then U Mumba's Anup Kumar. In 15 games for Patna Pirates in PKL 1, Sajjad amassed 27 tackle points. In that season, he completed three spectacular tackles. The Patna Pirates kept the Pakistani all-rounder for the second edition, although he only managed to participate in two games and did not get any points.
He was cut before the third season by the Patna Pirates. Since that time, no Pakistani players have participated in the Pro Kabaddi League.
Michal Spiczko, a former captain of the Poland kabaddi team, created history in 2015 when he became the first Polish player to compete in the league. He was given the chance to display his ability on the mat by the Bengaluru Bulls. Spiczko was unable to accrue any tackle points, but his mere presence on the mat got the spectators' attention. He was kept by the Bengaluru Bulls for the third season but was released before the fourth. The PKL has never had any other Polish players.
Although Japanese kabaddi players have contracts with PKL clubs, they haven't had many chances to play on the mat. Telugu Titans signed Japanese defender Abe Tetsuro last season. Despite having a lot of injury problems, the Titans did not give Abe a chance to show off his abilities.
Abe never had the opportunity to compete in Pro Kabaddi, although his countrymen Masayuki Shimokawa and Takamitsu Kono did so in the first season with U Mumba and Dabang Delhi KC, respectively. Kono participated in the 2017 league for Puneri Paltan as well.