U.P. Yoddhas - owned by GMR Group - will undoubtedly be the team to watch out for in Pro Kabaddi 2023-24. Why? Well, there is a new-found trinity that will look to set the mats ablaze.
The Yoddhas entered the PKL Season 10 auction with a purse of INR 2.06 crore and bravely fought off multiple bids to secure the signature of veteran all-rounder Vijay Malik - a player known for his versatility and consistency in performing under pressure. This was prevalent in Dabang Delhi K.C.’s triumph in Season 9.
Besides Malik, UPY re-signed all-rounders Gurdeep and Nitin Panwar.
The other new faces in the team include Kenyan all-rounders Helvic Simuyu and Samuel Wafula, defenders Kiran Magar and Harendra Kumar, and raider Gulveer Singh.
With a career record of 366 raid points and 77 tackle points in 96 PKL games, Vijay Malik will form a threat-imposing front alongside Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill.
Ahead of the PKL 2023-24 auction, the franchise retained its core quintet - Pardeep, Gill, Nitesh Kumar, Ashu Singh and Sumit Sangwan.
Pardeep, the player with the most raid points (1,568) in PKL history, registered 220 raid points last term and led the team into their fifth consecutive playoffs from PKL 5.
The ‘Dubki King’ was actively supported by the affluent performances of Gill (140 raid points in 14 matches) and Sumit (54 tackle points in 21 games), besides the contributions of Ashu (49 tackle points) and Nitesh Kumar (34).
The franchise also exercised their right to keep hold of Mahipal (11 raid points) and Anil Kumar (17 raid points), the NYPs signed up last season.
For the upcoming edition, the Yoddhas have drafted raiders Shivam Chaudhary and Gagan Gowda and defender Hitesh as their New Young Players.
In Pro Kabaddi Season 9, the Yoddhas saw their participation end after going down 36(4)-36(6) in a nail-biting Eliminator matchup against Tamil Thalaivas. Earlier in the competition, they finished fourth on the points table.
Now, with a renewed hunger for victory and a fresh-looking team brimming with excessive talent, the Yoddhas are READY to win their first-ever PKL trophy.
Here’s a look at U.P. Yoddhas’ Class of 2023-24 for Pro Kabaddi Season 10
Raiders: Pardeep Narwal, Surender Gill, Anil Kumar, Mahipal, Gagan Gowda, Shivam Chaudhary, Gulveer Singh
All-rounders: Vijay Malik, Helvic Simiyu, Samuel Wafula, Gurdeep, Nitin Panwar
Defenders: Nitesh Kumar, Sumit Sangwan, Ashu Singh, Hitesh, Harendra Kumar, Kiran Laxman Magar