After the 13 Iranian players who couldn't attend the start of the Pro Kabaddi League season nine due to visa concerns were able to go to India. Mohammadreza Shadloui, Fazel Atrachali, and Mohammad Esmail Nabibaksh will participate in the league this week, which is good news for fans.
Since there were no direct flights from Iran to India over the weekend, the players were transported via Colombo in Sri Lanka. "All the players were put up in the same hotel. We had even booked a dummy return ticket back to Iran as a contingency plan," a team official told ESPN.
The Sri Lankan Kabaddi Federation provided help, and the players quickly obtained their visas, thus the dummy tickets were not needed. This indicates that Shadloui, the finest defender from Patna Pirates last season, has arrived in Bengaluru and will probably play in Tuesday's matchup with Telugu Titans. "I will be in tomorrow's game and we will show the strength of the Pirates team," Shadloui had written in an Instagram story on Monday.
Shadloui, the lone foreign player kept on before PKL9, was essential to Patna Pirates' runners-up finish in the previous campaign. In actuality, Shadloui, Fazel, and Nabibakhsh travelled to India last month for the preseason camps of their respective clubs but were forced to return to Iran since they had entered on a tourist visa. On a tourist visa, athletes are not permitted to take part in international competitions.
The teams, notably Puneri Paltan, will benefit much by their coming at this point. The team spent more than $2 million to recruit its two Iranian players, and their absence on the field has been noticed, especially without Fazel serving as captain.
On Tuesday night, five players—Hamid Nader of the Telugu Titans, Mohsen Jafari of U Mumba, Heidarali Ekrami of U Mumba, Gholamabbas Korouki of the Jaipur Pink Panthers, and defender Reza Mirbagheri of the Telugu Titans—will arrive in Bengaluru. On Tuesday or Wednesday, the remaining Iranian players will arrive in the city.
List of teams with Iranian players
Bengal Warriors - Soleiman Pahlevani
Dabang Delhi - Reza Katoulinezhad
Haryana Steelers - Amirhossein Bastami, Mohammad Maghsoudlou
Jaipur Pink Panthers - Reza Mirbagheri
Patna Pirates - Mohammadreza Shadloui
Puneri Paltan - Fazel Atrachali, Mohammad Nabibakhsh
Telugu Titans - Hamid Nader, Mohsen Jafari
U Mumba - Heidarali Ekrami, Gholamabbas Korouki
UP Yoddha - Abozar Mighani