Warriors coach concerned about injuries

Bengal Warriors coach Pratap Shetty is worried about the increasing number of players getting injured in the fourth season of the Pro Kabaddi League.

Bengal Warriors players try to hold off a Puneri Paltan raider at Patliputra Sport Complex in Patna.   -  PTI

Bengal Warriors coach Pratap Shetty is worried about the increasing number of players getting injured in the fourth season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).

“A lot of players are getting injured this time as well. I think at least 10 players have gotten injured so far. Last season a lot of knee and ankle injuries were reported. This season many shoulder problems have surfaced.

Besides the PKL, we have to play departmental, state, district and local matches. More matches will lead to more injuries,” Shetty said ahead of Warriors’ home matches starting at the Netaji Inddor Stadium here from Saturday.

Warriors is at the bottom of the table with 11 points from eight matches, including six defeats and one tie.

Shetty said nothing could be done to tackle injury issues. “As of now there is no solution in sight. Since new players are not coming, the injured players are being rotated. The load is more on key players. Rainy season is the off season for us but after this we have to play departmental matches. We play 15 matches a year besides the PKL.”

According to Shetty, one has to be patient to overcome this problem. “We need to have enough players in the country to rotate them. The slowdown and lack of jobs after 2005 hit the game hard as new players did not take up the sport.

"The scenario has improved following the introduction of PKL. A lot of youngsters have taken up the sport. It will take three-four years to spot more quality players. You cannot expect it to happen instantly.”

Shetty hoped that PKL’s growing popularity, evident from the league being telecast in 110 territories, would help kabaddi get into the Olympics one day.

Warriors’ chief executive officer Sandip Tarkas was also optimistic about kabaddi’s future. “At least 50 countries should play a sport to be considered for the Olympics. Till now we have 32 international teams. The Olympic family is fascinated by kabaddi since it is a spectacular sport. The World Cup in October in India will play a big role popularising the game,” he said.