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NEW DELHI : Mashal Sports, organisers of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League, have announced the schedule of the first half of Season 8 that will begin 22 December, 2021. The whole season will be held at the Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention Centre but without spectators.

As a special format for PKL's current season, there is a schedule for ‘Triple Headers’ on the first four days of the event. The organisers hope this way fans can see each team play in the beginning of the league.

The season will begin with U Mumba facing off with Bengaluru Bulls in the tournament opener. The league’s ‘Southern Derby’ will then take centre-stage as Telugu Titans lock horns with Tamil Thalaivas in the second match and UP Yoddha will square off with the defending champions Bengal Warriors in the last match of the opening day.

This season will also feature Triple Headers on all Saturdays through the course of the tournament. The release of the season’s second-part schedule by mid-January is also expected to help PKL teams assess and rebuild their competition strategies for the second half of the tournament, the company said.

Anupam Goswami, CEO, Mashal Sports and league commissioner said, “We aim to continue reinventing the sport. Releasing the schedule in two halves will help teams strategise better and keep the fans engaged. The triple headers and “Triple Panga" will provide more fans more opportunities to watch their favourite players and teams in action as they battle it out for the coveted title."

Mashal Sports had said it will undertake the task of converting the entire venue into a single integrated and secure bio-bubble. With this, all 12 teams will stay and play at the same venue.

Season 8 of the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar.

The PKL player auctions held in August this year in Mumbai had retained 59 players. More than 450 players went under the hammer. Of these, 190 players were sold for 48.22 crore. Noteworthy player auctions included Pardeep Narwal who was bought by UP Yoddha for 1.65 crore, becoming one of the most expensive players auctioned at a league outside of cricket. Siddharth Desai was retained by Telugu Titans for 1.30 crore.

The game’s format is influenced by the cricket Indian Premier League and has 12 teams in total. The current champion is Bengal Warriors.

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