The ancient Indian sport gets a glamorous makeover with Pro Kabaddi League.
The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) premiered on Indian Television on July 26, 2014 and the reception it received was incredible – 22 million viewers on the first day. It is based on the format of the Indian Premier League (Cricket).
The game is a mix of tag and wrestling. There are two teams with 7 players each. In each turn, a team sends one raider in the other team’s half. To gain the point, he must tag one of the opponents and run back to his half. The raider must inhale before leaving his half and cannot breathe out till he has completed the tag and is back in his own half. He must constantly chant “kabaddi, kabaddi” while he is in the opponent’s half.
There are 8 teams in the league – Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Kolkata, Vizag, Patna and Pune.
There has been a lot of media hype that has surrounded PKL with Bollywood movie stars like – Abhishek Bachchan, Ronnie Screwvala and The Future Group’s Kishore Biyani – owning teams.
A wide range of celebrities have come to the stadiums to support their teams. Right from Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan to the cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, Pro Kabaddi League has seen it all.
The matches are telecast everyday at 7:45 pm IST on Star Sports 2 in English and on Star Gold in Hindi. The final will be played in Bangalore on August 31, 2014.
Photo Credits: Scott Heavey