Pro Kabaddi League season eight likely to commence in July

The eighth season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2021) is likely to begin in July, according to the tournament’s commissioner Anupam Goswami.

Bengal Warriors players celebrate after beating Dabang Delhi in the final to win season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019) in Ahmedabad (File Photo).   -  Vijay Soneji

The eighth season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), India’s second most-watched sporting league, is likely to commence in July, says the league’s commissioner Anupam Goswami.

The PKL will be the first indoor sporting league to resume post the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are preparing for the season to be conducted during our natural window - June to October. We will consult on this with the incoming media partners as well. As of now, we are getting ready to prepare for the season to be held from late June or early July," Goswami told Sportstar.

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He continued that the format of the PKL won't change and that a decision regarding the venues would be taken in consultation with the incoming media partners closer to the tournament. "It will be a 93-match season in any case. The measures we will have to take due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as quarantine, may make it a little longer. The number of matches and the format will be the same," he said.

"We will ensure to run the league in compliance with all the advised guidelines and regulations from relevant authorities. The final decision will be taken in consultation with new broadcast partners," he added.

 

The PKL's Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) program, which has unearthed many a promising talent such as Naveen Kumar and Nitesh Kumar, is also scheduled to go ahead. The FKH program traditionally sees the top Indian coaches travel to 15-plus states to identify young talent, who are then drafted into the Category D at the player auctions.

"Season eight of PKL will be crucial and has to be highly competitive. We definitely will have a category D (in the player auctions), so we will bring in new talent. The FKH programme will have to be conducted in the next month and a half. We’ll find some innovative way to do it to ensure it is held in a COVID-safe manner," he claimed. 

With the media rights also up for auction, the next two months will be a crucial phase for the PKL fraternity. "It is going to be a fresh start for a legacy. We have established the credentials of PKL, no doubt. We will now build upon the achievement," he said.

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