Pardeep Narwal, a three-time Pro Kabaddi champion, will headline U.P Yoddhas’ challenge for a maiden trophy at Pro Kabaddi Season 9.

The U.P Yoddhas - owned by GMR Group - have an excellent track record of qualifying for the playoffs in every Pro Kabaddi season since 2017 and will hope to go one step further this time.

The Yoddhas ended the PKL Season 8 as a semi-finalist, as they went down to Patna Pirates by a score of 38-27.

At the Pro Kabaddi Season 9 auction, the U.P Yoddhas used their Final Bid Match card to re-sign Pardeep Narwal for INR 90 lakhs to fight off competition from Gujarat Giants.

Among the acquisitions, Abozar Mohajer Mighani is the high-profile overseas player to join the U.P Yoddhas. The Iranian defender, nicknamed ‘Smiling Assassin’, has accrued 203 tackle points in 85 career matches across spells at Gujarat Giants, Telugu Titans and Bengal Warriors.

Besides Pardeep Narwal, raider Nitin Tomar was the other big-name signing among homegrown players at INR 20 lakhs. With 490 career raid points, Tomar returns to U.P Yoddhas for the first time since 2017.

The ninth edition of Pro Kabaddi League will begin on October 7.

Here’s a look at U.P. Yoddhas roster for Pro Kabaddi Season 9:

Raiders: Pardeep Narwal, Nitin Tomar, Rathan K, James Namaba Kamweti, Gulveer Singh, Surender Gill, Anil Kumar, Durgesh Kumar, Aman, Rohit Tomar, Mahipal

Defenders: Abozar Mohajer Mighani, Babu Murugasan, Jaideep, Sumit, Nitesh Kumar, Ashu Singh, Shubham Kumar

All-Rounders: Gurdeep, Nehal Desai, Nitin Panwar