Kabaddi Adda

From University Clubs to PKL Stars: The Kabaddi Journey of Felix Li and Yuvraj Pandeya

The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has become a global phenomenon, attracting talented players not just from India, but from across the world. This past season, the league witnessed a growing presence of English players, with Felix Li and Yuvraj Pandeya making a mark on the biggest stage of Kabaddi.

For Li, a defender from England, the PKL experience was a dream come true. Kabaddi isn't a mainstream sport in England, but Li had been following the PKL since its first season. He never imagined himself playing in the league, yet here he was, bought by the Dabang Delhi team for a whopping ₹13 lakhs.

Felix Li said, "The experience at PKL was amazing because Kabaddi is not so big in England. I always dreamt of being a part of PKL as I've been following it since Season 1. I never thought I would be part of the Pro Kabaddi League."

He also said, "I joined a kabaddi club during my first year in my university. I made some catches in my first training session and I really like the players in the group. I continued to play the game there and eventually found a place in the England side and thereafter in a PKL team."

Yuvraj Pandeya, another English defender who shone in PKL season 10, shared a similar story. Watching Kabaddi matches on TV was one thing, but being part of the electrifying atmosphere in a PKL stadium was a completely different experience. Here, he got to compete against the best Kabaddi players globally, something he hadn't experienced before on such a grand scale.

Pandeya's Kabaddi story began even younger than Li's. He started playing Kabaddi with a local Hindu group at a young age. His talent was spotted during a local tournament by the England Kabaddi team captain. This chance encounter led him to train with the national team and eventually secure a place in the PKL.

Yuvraj Pandeya said, “It's a completely different experience. On TV, all you see is 40 minutes of action, whereas in the PKL, you get the full experience of being able to play with, and against, the best of the best in the world. We have played in a few international tournaments, but it's not of this size and level.”

He added, “I started playing Kabaddi with a local Hindu group at a young age. During a local tournament, the England Kabaddi team captain saw me perform and said, ‘you play well, come train with us.’ One thing led to the other, and now I play for England."

Both Li and Pandeya's journeys highlight the growing international appeal of Kabaddi. The PKL has provided a platform for talented players from all over the world to showcase their skills and compete at the highest level. For these English players, the league has been a life-changing experience, offering them not just professional opportunities but also a chance to be part of a passionate sporting community.

Their stories are an inspiration for aspiring Kabaddi players everywhere. It doesn't matter where you come from or how big Kabaddi is in your country. With dedication, talent, and a bit of luck, you too can find yourself on the biggest stage of Kabaddi, just like Felix Li and Yuvraj Pandeya.