New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The inaugural Pro Wrestling League (PWL) will be held between November 8 and 29 and the six franchise-based event will see the participation of not only the world’s top male and female stars but also the young Indian grapplers, it was announced here on Monday.
Indian icons — double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, 2012 London Games bronze medal winner Yogeshwar Dutt and 2012 World Championships bronze medallist Geeta Phogat — will also go under the hammer during the auction.
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and sports firm Pro-Sportify — the organisers of the league — claimed that as many 20 Olympic medallists and eight reigning world champions have already shown interest to be in the auction.
PWL has a prize and auction purse that aggregates to $3 million.
Sushil was full of praise for the league, saying it will provide Indian grapplers the exposure which they now get abroad.
“It will be a great boost when the cream of world wrestling comes to India. This will be a great opportunity for our players to travel with them and learn a lot,” the 2010 world champion said.
“Besides the league will keep the focus on the sport and motivate the upcoming wrestlers,” added the 33-year-old.
The world’s top 66 wrestlers, six city-based franchises covering north to south and east to west of India will vie for the top honour and the prize purse of Rs.3 crore.
The league format will see six city-based teams battle it out against each other once. Each squad will consist of 11 players — six men and five women; six Indians and five foreigners.
The PWL will be played on the best-of-nine format, but all the nine bouts will be contested during the league phase. Each bout will have three rounds of three minutes each, separated by a one-minute break.
To make the contest more interesting players will get half-a-point bonus for fall and also half a point bonus for greater superiority that will be determined by a 15-point lead, PWL governing council chairman G.S. Mander said during the launch of the event.
The competition will be televised live to over 150 countries.
“Pro Wrestling League is a step in the right direction. Of late, Indian wrestlers have been doing extremely well. And with financial boost from the League, I am sure our wrestlers will reach greater heights,” WFI president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh said.