PUNE: Aimed at providing exposure to as many players, Pune League Kabaddi has come a long way since it was launched in 2016 and in only third year of existence the league is now offering huge prize money of Rs 13.11 lakh this year.
“We want to give exposure to Pune kabaddi players the feel of playing on mat which has become a norm now with the popularity of Pro Kabaddi League,” said Baburao Chandere, Vice-President of the Maharashra State Kabaddi Association.
Huge response from clubs in Pune city and district areas this year has forced the organisers to increase the number of competing teams by two—eight for men and six for women.
The 2018 edition of the Pune Kabaddi League, to be held at the Boxing Hall of Balewadi Sports Complex from July 19 to 22, is being organised as part of the birthday celebrations of Ajit Pawar, President of the Maharashtra Olympic Association (MOA).
“Our aim is to prepare players from Pune who would be able to make the cut for coming Pro Kabaddi League seasons. We want our players to reach that standard,” Chandere told a press conference on Monday.
The 8 men’s and 6 women’s teams were formed after July 8 Selection Trials, which saw 550 men and 130 women attended at Balewadi Sports Complex, Weightlifting hall.
The winning team members will each get Rs 10,000, while the Runners-up finishers would get Rs 7500 each. The third and fourth finishing team players will settle for Rs 5000, informed Baburao Chandere.
There will be individual prizes too which includes ‘best player’, ‘best raider’ and ‘best defender’ getting Rs 15,000 each.
The semifinals and finals to be played on July 21 and 22 will be telecast live on Jai Maharashtra TV channel, informed Chandere.