Kabaddi gets a new life with ‘Pro Kabaddi League’

MUMBAI: After various leagues around cricket, hockey, badminton, football and tennis, it was time for Kabbadi to make a foray. Not missing the opportunity to bring back the rustic Indian sport to the limelight, Mashal Sports and the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) launched the Pro Kabaddi League at the National Sports Club of India today.

The sport has progressed from being a loved Indian game to the international platform. The League aims to extend its reach further to the international arena by bringing Indian and international players along with acclaimed Indian personalities and sports authorities on the same platform.

The official website will be a repository of information on all things related to Pro Kabaddi as well as Kabaddi in general while Star Sports will be the official broadcast partner for the League, the matches of which will be held on a 'home and away' format with daily, LIVE, prime-time coverage.

Star India COO Sanjay Gupta said: “Our association with Kabaddi is in line with our stated objective of transforming the sports landscape and enabling the growth of a multi-sport culture in India. Pro Kabaddi will build an ecosystem that can potentially take this game to the next level. We plan to offer an immersive and engaging experience for the Kabaddi viewers.”

Mashal Sports co-promoter Anand Mahindra, who will play a key role in taking Kabaddi to another level, tweeted: “Had asked you about supporting indigenous sport, specifically Kabaddi. Well proud to be a co-promoter of #ProKabaddi league we launched today.”

During the launch of the league, he also stated: “A vibrant, professional sports league can bring about a transformational change for the sport and its players. Pro Kabaddi is our attempt at bringing this change to our very own, extremely popular sport of Kabaddi. The modern, international, competitive form of the quintessentially Indian sport is already extremely popular across the world and with good television coverage and passionate team owners; Kabaddi's massive following has the potential to make it the next big thing in sport.”

Mashal Sports MD and well known commentator, compere and quizmaster Charu Sharma, who is the force behind conceptualising and organising the league recalled how he was pleasantly shocked to see the power, passion and reach of Kabaddi while commentating during the 2006 Doha Asian Games. “I just knew, instinctively then, and more surely now, that modern, international Kabaddi has all the ingredients required to make it a major, visible force in the world of sport. I am truly grateful to the many visionaries who have made Pro Kabaddi possible,” he remarked.

World Sport Group (WSG) is the official commercial and event partners of the Pro Kabaddi League that has seen significant franchisee interest. Already pledging their support as team owners are leading entrepreneurs such as Ronnie Screwvala, Rajesh Shah (Mukand Group) and Kishore Biyani. Advanced discussions are on with other corporate giants such as the GMR Group and Murugappa Group. Even Shah Rukh Khan is known to be interested in it.

The league has been organised in association with International Kabaddi Federation, Asian Kabaddi Federation and Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India.

All Pro Kabaddi League matches will be played on a specially developed mat in state of the art indoor stadiums across eight cities. Top Kabaddi players from across India and the globe will participate in a show of intense competition and sporting camaraderie. A 10-minute exhibition match between top players in an 'arena-within-an-arena' at the NSCI Indoor Stadium, Mumbai spectacularly showcased the fresh, exciting and international face of Kabaddi. 

Ogilvy & Mather executive chairman and creative director South Asia Piyush Panday said: “Kabaddi is the ultimate combination of power, agility and tactics. It is one of India’s unique treasures and I am glad that we are able to present it an international stage in such an exciting format.”

The matches will be preceded by a player auction, where each of the teams will get equal opportunity to build their squads. Almost 100 players will be auctioned, out of which 72 players will be Indian and the rest will be international players from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, England, Indonesia, Italy, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United States of America, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

The League is set to take the sport to a new level of prominence and ensure that stars such as Navneet Gautam, Rakesh Kumar, Ajay Thakur and Rajaguru are bound to become the new sporting heroes.

Matches will be played as per the current international rules and regulations of the IKF. The Federation is also seriously considering making some small but significant changes to the game, to enhance its appeal on television. 

Pro Kabaddi League, will have robust marketing strategies. Each franchisee will not only have their team colours and star players but also create their own fan following with innovative media outreach strategies. Sports enthusiasts, in India and across the world, can keep track of the matches, scores, and players as well as participate in the game through social media platforms such as the league’s website, Twitter handle @prokabaddi and Facebook page Pro Kabaddi.

Latest Reads
Gujarat elections boost news channel ratings as Republic continues to lead English News

BENGALURU: Rahul Gandhi’s shenanigans and Narendra Modi’s sudden and unexpected belligerence at rallies leading up to the Gujarat state assembly elections have resulted in bolstering sagging news viewership, especially for the English news genre. According to Broadcast Audience Research Council of...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Sunny Leone in Discovery JEET’s show Man Vs Wild

Sunny Leone will be displaying her adventurous side as host of the mega-popular survival series Man Vs. Wild. The iconic series will telecast in Hindi on the soon-to-be-launched GEC Discovery JEET. The new GEC will premiere in the second week of February 2018 and the series will feature the...

Television TV Channels GECs
Times Now appoints Sujeet Mishra as marketing head

Times Network, part of India’s media conglomerate, The Times Group today announced the appointment of Sujeet Mishra as head of marketing, Times Now.

Television TV Channels People
Experience space with BBC's new VR experience

The BBC is giving you a chance fly. Home - A VR Spacewalk is an interactive virtual reality (VR) experience launched today for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, and is available to download for free via the Steam Store and the Oculus Store.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Sony BBC Earth presents the Best of 2017

Sony BBC Earth revisits some of its most popular episodes of the best shows in a special programming line-up titled Best of 2017 starting 18 December 2017, every night at 7 pm and 11 pm.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Increased revenue from traditional media boosts Shemaroo numbers

Integrated media content house Shemaroo Entertainment Limited (Shemaroo) reported 18.3 percent higher year-on-year (y-o-y) consolidated total revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18, the quarter under review) stood at Rs 1,345.7 million as compared with Rs 1,138.6 million in...

Television Production House Film Production
21st CF spins-off into new live news & sports co Fox

MUMBAI: After the blockbuster acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company, the former has announced that it will spinoff into a new brand Fox’ that will seek to replicate its own success in the newly focussed verticals of live news and sports brands. Using fiscal 2017 as a base, the...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
With Star India, Disney emerges as India's largest M&E firm

MUMBAI: Unlike the US, where the merger of The Walt Disney Co and 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets is between two near equals, the scenario in India is totally different. 21st Century Fox’s India venture Star India is a $1.7 billion dollar media and entertainment behemoth while Disney India...

Television TV Channels People
Disney to buy 21st Century Fox assets for $52.4 billion

The Walt Disney Co has set up a $52.4 billion, all-stock deal to acquire 20th Century Fox and other entertainment and sports assets from Rupert Murdoch’s empire.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories