New Delhi/Pune: The stage is set as Parle IPKL caravan is all set to start its first-ever campaign from Pune. The Pune Leg which is going to be held at the Balewadi stadium will kick start with a star studded opening ceremony here this evening.The first match of the tournament is going to feature the home side Pune Pride locking horns against Haryana Heroes. Balewadi Stadium in the next one week will play host to another 20 games before proceeding to Mysore and then Bengaluru for the Final leg.
Eight franchisees will be battling it out for the championship title along with a total prize purse of Rs 4 crore over a period of 23 days.Dalbir Malik, Captain, Pune Pride said. “I am excited and cannot wait to start the tournament onwards. I am looking forward to our first game and we are sure about not leaving any stones unturned to ensure victory for us.”
Haryana Heroes, Captain, Amit expressed similar thoughts saying, “ A second league for Kabaddi is a good thing to happen. We have so many talented players in India and a league like this will only allow all the players to find newer platforms to showcase their talent and also attain valuable match time.”He further added, “We are looking forward to our first game against the home team today. We are a new but a strong team with just winning as our motto.”
Commenting on the league Mumbai Che Raje, Captain, Shashank Wankhede felt that, “I feel fortunate to be playing in my second kabaddi league in India. What really impresses me is the structure on which this league is being built upon. I am very confident that IPKL has a bright future.”
“I am really excited about the league. We play our first match against Chennai Challengers which has a good mix of players including the experience of Manoj Kumar. We just want to make sure we give our 100% towards making Parle IPKL a success,” said an excited Sunil Jaypal, Captain, Diler Delhi.
Chennai Challengers, Captain, Sunil Narwal said, “Kabaddi as a sport is widely loved in Tamil Nadu. There are a total of 10 players from Tamil Nadu and with the years to come the numbers will only increase. The local talent growth which is one of the main objectives of IPKL is certainly going to help the sport’s local growth.”
“We are very excited to be a part of IPKL and we cannot wait to be on the mat as a team.” Said Suresh Kumar, Captain, Pondy Predators.
Manoj Kumar, Captain, Telugu Bulls says, “It’s a great opportunity for many other talented players to showcase their talent and get the valuable game time and experience. We are excited about the IPKL and we are looking forward to a successful season.”
Bangalore Rhinos, Captain, Vipin Malik seemed confident of his team’s chances and said, “We have had a good pre-season camp and we know that we are a very strong unit and are confident of a successful run this season. I hope that IPKL becomes a great avenue for all the Kabaddi players in India.”
The opening ceremony of the league will feature Grand Masti star, Kainaat Arora and India’s Got Talent stars and Michael Jackson inspired dance group MJ5 adding to the glitz and glamour of the league. The live broadcast of the league will start from 7:00 PM onwards.