Following the unprecedented success of cricket, hockey, football and kabaddi leagues in India, wrestling too will look to build on the immense success of Indian professional leagues this year.
The inaugural edition of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) will consist of six teams with eleven players each, six Indian and five foreigners per team making a total of 66 players. The tournament will have big names from the world of wrestling with 30 international players and 36 domestic players.
“Around 20 top wrestlers of the world have already signed up for the league, which includes eight world champions. September 1 is the deadline to take on board all wrestlers before the auction take place on September 15,” said Director, Pro Sportify, Kartikey Sharma.
Local Heroes set to overwhelm fans in the Pro Wrestling League
The first edition of the Pro Wrestling League will witness the development of young Indian wrestlers and provide them with much-needed international exposure. Thus, also benefiting their overall game and Indian wrestling in general.
With 36 Indians in the fray, Sports Rediscovered looks at some of the most celebrated Indians set to take part in the League.
The poster boy of Indian wrestling converted the fortunes of the not-so-popular sport to a much-hyped sport in the country with back-to-back medals in the Olympics.
Sushil is not participating in the World Championships this year due to an injury and the Pro Wrestling League seems like the perfect preparation for him ahead of the next round of qualifications for the Rio 2016.
The 33-year-old Haryana grappler is a seasoned figure in Indian wrestling competing at the highest level. His sheer will power and determination keeps him going on the mat, and comes out with awe-inspiring performances at the end.
Dutt has a storied collection of medals from different international events representing the country at various levels and will be looking to add to the same in the pro wrestling league
The youngest of Indian celebrated wrestlers, Amit Kumar also has the hopes of a billion Indian in next year’s Rio Olympics. Amit was a young kid at the 2012 Olympic Games, but soon matured and won his first gold for the country in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The Pro Wrestling League will be a welcome opportunity for the youngster and sharing training sessions with the best wrestlers in the world will aid his growth as a wrestler.
When we talk women wrestling the Phogat sisters – Babita, Geeta and Vinesh – come to the mind. They have taken women’s wrestling by storm in the country, inspiring many young women to take up the sport.
The elder sisters Babita and Geeta faced criticism from their village in their early years for taking up a sport meant for “men”, but with medals flowing their way they are now the pride of the village.
Wrestling comes naturally to the sisters, with a wrestler and coach in the family itself. The trio will be eagerly followed by the young fans and with the Pro Wrestling League their popularity is only certain to grow.
India will witness the return of a champion, who has been out of wrestling for five years, last winning silver medal in the Delhi CWG 2010. Anuj has a fantastic national record during his 14-year-long career, winning the championships 14 times in a row.
With a gap of five years on his resume, he might not be a top favourite but Anuj is certain to be a dark horse for whichever team he represents on the mat.
The player auctions will be held on September 15 and any player could be up for any team. There is a perfect opportunity for the Wrestling Federation of India to keep track of developing players and the form of their players ahead of upcoming tournaments and the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.