Mashal Sports, the organisers of Pro Kabaddi League, announced today that they are exploring the launch of an annual professional league for women’s kabaddi on similar lines as the men’s PKL, which is now in its 10th year. The league is likely to be called the Women’s Kabaddi League.
While the organisers did not say how many teams they were planning to have in the first season, the organisers have previously tried holding a three-team test tournament, called Women’s Kabaddi Challenge, in 2016. The three teams were called Firebirds, IceDivas and StormQueens.
“Our plans for a professional women’s kabaddi league are based on the success we have seen in the men’s league and our commitment to grow kabaddi as a modern world-class sport from India. We will be working with our various stakeholders, including the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) and the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) to launch the women’s league,” said Anupam Goswami, CEO of Mashal Sports & League Commissioner, Pro Kabaddi League.
“Ever since the launch of Pro Kabaddi League in 2014, women kabaddi players in India have aspired to a professional kabaddi league of their own. Now, a women’s version of PKL will be a big dream come true for every woman kabaddi athlete in India, and also for women kabaddi athletes from other countries,” said V Tejeswini Bai, who captained the winning StormQueens team at the Women’s Kabaddi Challenge in 2016. Tejeswini is one of the many Arjuna Award-winning women kabaddi players from India. She captained the Indian women’s team the last time it won the gold medal at the Asian Games, at Incheon in 2014.
Pardeep Narwal, the highest point-scoring raider in Pro Kabaddi, added: “The quality and popularity of Pro Kabaddi League has enabled us to acquire pride and respect as kabaddi players. I know that a women’s PKL will guarantee the same recognition and reward for our women athletes.”