Former general secretary of the EPL, Nic Coward, has joined the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) to lend his expertise to the league and said that the PKL should look to emulate global leagues like the Premier League and the Champions League (CL). Coward was joined by Craig Thompson, co-founder of the CL.
Although the PKL has improved by leaps and bounds since it’s inception, it still has some way to go before it can be called a global league like the Premier League and the Champions League. And it is with the precise intention of bridging that gap the PKL has roped in the likes of Coward and Thompson.
While the 52-year-old acknowledged the undebatable quality of the PKL, he also conceded that there was a lot which could be improved. "PKL is already an international class product but it can learn a lot from EPL," he said as reported by TOI. Speaking of his vision for the still nascent league he added, "We wish to create an environment which can help PKL go places," he added.
One of the things that Coward has in mind for the PKL is the inception of players’ policies. "The franchises here are already spending a lot on youth programmes to create
Moreover, Coward also believes that the player policies will help the franchisees build a good team for themselves, whilst enabling them to retain their star players, as well. “We have already started working in that direction and teams have been informed about it," Coward said.
Further, while it is certainly too early to compare the PKL to the likes of the Premier League and the Champions League, Coward also believes that the PKL can learn a lot from their much more established counterparts. "EPL built stadiums, world class sporting facilities and a huge entertaining product. PKL needs to replicate a lot of that to achieve its ambition to be one of the biggest leagues in the world," felt Coward.
Meanwhile, Craig Thompson, the co-founder of the Champions League seconded Coward’s opinion while also adding that the league needs to go global in order to become a leading league. "PKL already has a lot of things going in right direction. It is a physical sport, it is very fast since it is played in a very small area, there are huge scoring opportunities unlike in football where maybe a one or two goals are scored in a match. This all gets people really excited but it needs to spread its wings and get more countries involved," Thompson said.
Finally, PKL commissioner Anupam Goswami said that the whole point of getting both Thompson and Coward was to use their global experience. "See the idea of a league itself has come from abroad. While we have created a successful league, we still have a lot to learn from others, like sustainability and durability and world-class practices in our PKL."