The fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi league shall get underway later on Friday with a glittering opening ceremony at Hyderabad. Season 5 is going to be bigger and better with 12 teams in the fray, battling it hard for the coveted trophy. As the league gets more competitive with four new teams getting added, the teams done some meticulous planning as to who shall be the right man to lead their sides.While some of the proven customers shall be leading their sides, some new guns have been roped in to take on the mantle of captaincy.
Here are the captains of the 12 Franchises of the Pro Kabaddi League
1. Anup Kumar (U Mumba) The star raider had been the skipper of the franchise since the very first season. The 'Captain Cool' spearheaded U Mumba's maiden title win in season 3 and the franchise looks as one of the top contenders to lift their second title. He has so far scored 411 points, in which he scored 377 raid points.
2. Rahul Chaudhari (Telugu Titans) Rahul has been the most successful raider in the history of PKL. Chaudhari hailed as the poster boy of PKL shall once again captain the Telugu Titans in Season 5. Chaudhari has 517 points in the league and won Most valuable player of the season award twice.
3. Manjeet Chhillar (Jaipur Pink Panthers) The star all-rounder will captain the Panthers in Season 5. The Panthers came out as champions in the inaugural season This is the first time when Manjeet will be playing for Pink Panthers. The senior member of the national kabaddi team has scored 334 points in the three seasons of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi so far. He was the captain of Puneri Paltan in the previous season.
4. Surender Nada (Haryana Steelers) Nada has cemented himself as one of the most reliable defenders in the history of the PKL. Surender Nada has been named the captain of the debutant franchise Haryana Steelers. The 27-year-old Surender, a left corner defender has featured in 49 matches in PKL, scoring 156 points. He had earlier plied his trade for the Bengaluru Bulls.
5. Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates) Pardeep Narwal has been a star raider for two time champions Patna Pirates in the tournament. He played a crucial role in Pirates' triumph in fourth edition of the tournament. The 'Dubki King' has earned 263 points in 38 games he has played.
6. Rohit Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls) Rohit Kumar will be spearheading Bengaluru Bulls' campaign in the fifth edition of the tournament. The star raider, who went through a troubled phase in his personal life, is still considered a dangerous player and the whopping Rs 81 lakh bid for his is a testimony to that. Rohit has scored 209 raid points in the league so far.
7. Ajay Thakur (Tamil Thalaivas) Ajay Thakur became the most sought after player in the Indian Kabaddi cricle post his heroics in the Indian squad that defeated Iran in last year's Kabaddi World Cup. The Himachal Pradesh-based raider will be leading Sachin Tendulkar-owned Tamil Thalaivas. Ajay has scored 327 points in the PKL so far.
8. Sukesh Hedge (Gujarat Fortune Giants) Debutants Gujarat Fortune Giants have tasked Sukesh Hegde with the burden of captaincy in the upcoming season. Gujarat also picked star defender Fazel Atrachali in the priority pick allowed to every team.
9. Nitin Tomar (UP Yoddha) Raider Nitin Tomar broke all records when emerged as the costliest-ever player to be bought in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) auction. He was snapped for a whopping Rs 93 lakh by GMR-owned UP Yoddha. After missing the first two seasons, Tomar has claimed 115 points. He will be leading the team in it's debut season.
10. Meeraj Sheykh (Dabang Delhi) Iranian player Meeraj Sheykh, was retained by Dabang Delhi, and will be leading the franchise in PKL 5. In 42 matches, he has 119 raid points and a sum of 42 defence points.
11. Deepak Niwas Hooda (Puneri Paltan) The upcoming raider will be taking the role of the captain for Puneri Paltan in the absence of Manjeet Chhillar.
12.Jan Kun Lee (Bengal Warriors) - The Korean raider retained by the franchise for Rs 80.30 lakhs, has been named the captain of Bengal Warriors. In 51 matches, the Korean ace raider has earned 262 points.
Also Read: Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Opening Ceremony: Timings, Live Coverage and Online Streaming