National Kabaddi Federation of India & DSPORT on Wednesday announced dates for the first edition of the Indo International Premier Kabaddi League (IPKL), a brand new sporting league which for the first time ever in India, will also share a part of its revenue with players, besides their assured salaries and prize money.Former Indian cricket great Virender Sehwag was also there to unveil the logo and showed his love and support for the game.At a glittering ceremony in the Capital, the dashing former opening batsman said: "It pained the whole nation including myself to see India lose their golden stranglehold in the Kabaddi competition at the Jakarta Palembang 2018 Asian Games. "Kabaddi is a pride of the country including many such indigenous sports which all of us at some point grew up playing. When the organizers of IPKL came to me, I felt their ideas and passion would certainly help us regain our place at the pedestal of Asian and world Kabaddi. I wish the IPKL and all players all the very best in this new journey."The IPKL will run from May 13-June 4 across three venues in Pune, Mysore and Bengaluru. There will be a total of 44 matches in season one, which will feature eight teams and a total of 160 players, including 16 foreign signings. All players were selected post rigorous selection trials conducted throughout the country which were open to all.The league will be broadcast on DSPORT (English) MTV & MTV HD+ (Hindi) DDSport ( Hindi) as well as several regional networks .
Also present on the occasion was Ravi Kiran, Director, IPKL, who said: "This is an effort towards creating a robust and transparent system for growing the sport of Kabaddi, which we all love so much around the country. This league is a revolutionary step towards increasing and strengthening the reach of this sport. For the first time ever players have been made stakeholders in the game through our revenue sharing formula. This ensures the primacy of player's interests."On behalf of the official broadcaster DSPORT, R.C. Venkateish, MD & CEO, Lex Sportel, also shared his thoughts saying: "This is a truly momentous occasion for us in our endeavor towards bringing the best of live sporting action to audiences and fans. What really stands out with IPKL is NKF's vision of giving the two most important stakeholders of a sport, the fan and the player, the importance they deserve. We strongly believe that IPKL will be a catalyst to unearth the best of Kabaddi talent in the country restoring its pride of place in this centuries old sport with homegrown origins."The opening phase of the IPKL will feature 20 matches and will be played at Pune's Balewadi stadium between May 13 and 21, while 17 games of the second phase will take place in Mysore's Chamundai Vihar stadium from May 24 to May 29.The final phase in Bengaluru beginning June 1 will have 7 games, with the grand finale scheduled at the Kanteerava stadium on June 4.A total of eight teams are in place namely the Bangalore Rhinos, the Chennai Challengers, Diler Delhi, Telegu Bulls, Pune Pride, Haryana Heroes, Mumbai Che Raje and Rajasthan Rajputs.Each team will comprise of marquee players and will include five raiders, seven defenders and three all-rounders besides two foreign signings. One coach and physio will also be assigned to the teams.