Pro Kabaddi League set to add four new teams

The number of participating teams is likely to increase to 12 this season.

Patna Pirates celebrates its title win last year.   -  PTI

The number of participating teams in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) in July this year is set to increase to 12. Currently, eight teams participate in the tournament.

Mashal Sports, which was chiefly responsible for the creation of the exciting league in 2014 has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for the four additional teams, from Corporates or consortium of persons with a net worth in excess of Rs. 100 crore as on March 31, 2016. The new teams will represent the Indian States of Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.

After the addition of the new teams, Season Five would span more than 130 matches, and the duration of the event would be increased to 13 weeks, the release stated. “With the addition of these new teams, Pro Kabaddi is gearing up to surpass other Indian sports leagues in terms of geographic representation (teams from 11 states), number of matches (130+ matches) and duration of the league (13 weeks) in Season 5,” the release said.

“Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have been primarily chosen for their high affinity towards Kabaddi with massive fan bases, significant on-ground presence of the sport, and potential commercial value to sponsors and advertisers. Both Haryana and Tamil Nadu contribute large number of players to Pro Kabaddi, as well as leading public sector teams in the country,” according to the release.

“All stakeholders have decided to come together to expand the league and given the pace at which this is growing, it might be just the first in a series of expansions in the coming years,” said PKL’s broadcast partners Star India’s Chairman and CEO, Uday Shankar.

“Pro Kabaddi is a truly unique example of how a modern league has transformed the much loved but traditional Kabaddi into a modern sport,” said Janardan Singh Gehlot, President, International Kabaddi Federation.