Sachin Tendulkar has partnered with entrepreneur N. Prasad and will be among the owners of the four new teams in the Pro-Kabaddi League this year. Tendulkar will be joined by the JSW Group, Adani Group, and GMR Group as fellow new owners for the teams from Haryana, Gujarat, UP and Tamil Nadu.
The four new teams will function under the following organizations:
The PKL is a franchise style professional kabaddi league and was launched in 2014 by the sports management firm, Mashal Sports Pvt. Ltd. Meanwhile, Star India are the official broadcasters of the league and own a 74% stake in the shares.
Uday Shankar, chairman and chief executive officer, Star India, confirmed the new teams and their owners in a statement, saying, “With the support of existing and new partners, we are well on our course to realizing a socially transformative sports agenda. The interest shown by these corporates is evidence of the immense potential of Kabaddi,” reported live mint.
Further, while the kabaddi league was split into two seasons, last year, in this term, the PKL will have only a single season from July to October spread over 13 weeks. Moreover, Sachin Tendulkar joins already illustrious list of PKL owners which includes, actor Abhishek Bachchan for the Jaipur Pink Panthers and producer, Ronnie Screwvala for U Mumba.
The addition of these four new teams will see the total number of participating teams increase to 12, from the existing 8. The current teams are based out of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Patna, Pune, and Jaipur.
More importantly, with this expansion, the PKL is all set to surpass other Indian sports leagues in terms of geographical representation with 11 states, 130-plus matches and the duration of the tournament being extended to 13 weeks.
Meanwhile, Chinese mobile company Vivo has been awarded the title sponsorship for the PKL, in a deal valued at Rs. 300 crores over five years. International Kabaddi Federation, President, Janardan Singh Gehlot, said in a statement, “The addition of 4 new teams to the ever-growing VIVO Pro Kabaddi League signifies a promising road ahead for the sport in India as well as over the world.”