PKL’s Bengaluru matches shifted out

Nagpur will now host the Bengaluru leg of the Pro Kabaddi League as Bengaluru’s Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium is “booked” until the end of October.

Bengaluru Bulls will plays its ‘home’ matches in Nagpur this season.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The Bengaluru leg of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has been shifted to Nagpur, it was announced here on Tuesday. Matches were scheduled to be held at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium from August 4 to 10, but will now be held at Nagpur’s Mankapur Indoor Stadium on the same dates.

Bengaluru Bulls owner Uday Sinh Wala explained that Department of Youth Empowerment and Services (DYES) delayed issuing permission to use the venue, which forced his hand. “We have not yet received necessary permissions to host the matches on the required dates, despite our incessant efforts,” Uday said.

He added that his team approached DYES for use of the venue early last month, and that DYES was yet to reply. “Bengaluru Bulls will miss the privilege of performing in front of our home crowd and supporters, who have been an invaluable part of our journey. Given the lack of time, and the extent of work required to host this world-class event successfully, the move had to be made despite our best intentions,” Uday said.

DYES Director, Anupam Agarwal, stated that his association could not grant permission because the venue was booked until the end of October. Agarwal, however, was not clear on what events would keep the stadium occupied.

The FIBA Asia women’s basketball championship, to be held at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, concludes on July 29, nearly a week before the start of the PKL outings. Agarwal mentioned that DYES offered the Koramangala Indoor Stadium as a replacement venue, and that this was not accepted by Bengaluru Bulls.

Uday responded that he had rejected this option in seasons past. “We considered this in previous years, but rejected it. The Koramangala Indoor Stadium does not have enough space for teams to warm-up, and to house equipment like TV cameras. Also, it does not have air-conditioning,” he said.

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