PWL: Ritu Phogat to spearhead Jaipur Ninjas

The coach of the Jaipur NInjas, Mahabir Prasad, different to the Mahavir Phogat, the hero of the film, said that his team, spearheaded by the young Ritu Phogat, would present the future of Indian wrestling.

Ritu Phogat (front) in action against Nirmal Devi in the first season of Pro Wrestling League.   -  Sandeep Saxena

With the Dangal movie doing roaring business in the cinema theatres around the country, there will be more than the usual attention on Geeta Phogat, and her two young sisters Ritu Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat, in the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) that is set to start the second season on January 2.

All the bouts are scheduled at the KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium at the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex in the Capital. The coach of the Jaipur NInjas, Mahabir Prasad, different to the Mahavir Phogat, the hero of the film, said that his team, spearheaded by the young Ritu Phogat, would present the future of Indian wrestling.

At a launch function in Delhi on Friday, coach Mahabir, who was the coach of the Mumbai team that won the title in the last edition, said that the country could do a lot better than winning one Olympic medal.

"We have a young team and they will be ready for the future. In 2020, India will win two medals through the girls and two or three through the boys in the Olympics. Wrestling will be the main sport in the country", said Mahabir.

The organisers were proud to state that wrestling was the most watched Olympic sport on television in 2016, and that it augured well for the future of the sport in the country.

The Jaipur Ninjas is a team of youngsters with Utkarsh Kale, Rahul MannVinod Kumar Omprakash, Jakob Makarashvili, Eizbar Odikadze, Betzabeth Arguello, Pooja Dhanda and Jenny Fransson in the squad apart from Ritu Phogat.

Most of the Indian wrestlers were present when the singlet of the team was displayed along with the logo of the team. The foreign wrestlers will be landing on time for the competition scheduled to start on January 2 at 7 p.m.

The six teams, Haryana, Mumbai, Punjab, Jaipur Uttar Pradesh and Delhi will compete at the same venue for 18 days on the trot, with the semifinals slated for January 17 and 18, followed by the final on 19th. There will be a total prize purse of Rs.15 crore on offer, after all the wrestlers have already been assured of their share of guarantee fee while being drafted into the various teams.

Sony Max and Sony ESPN will telecast the matches from 7 p.m. to around 9 p.m. every day during the league.