Hyderabad: The Asian Games outing at Jakarta may have come as a rude wake-up call to the authorities and Team India players but the same cannot, in any way, dampen the spirit of the die-hard fan, who will be treated to top grade action when the second edition of the Telangana Premier Kabaddi League (TPKL) begins at Saroornagar Indoor Arena here on Friday.
Kabaddi fever hits TS today
The league that has captivated the fans from all over the State in its inaugural edition will take centrestage till its culmination on September 30.
Ironically, the Season II opener pits defending champion Ranga Reddy Raiders against runner-up Gadwal Gladiators. It will be followed by a showdown between Hyderabad Bulls and Mancherial Tigers.
Stating that they were all set to ‘usher in a brand new kabaddi culture’ that will further its popularity across the State,Technical Director of TPKL Season-2, K Jagadishwer Yadav, observed that in terms of organisational acumen and player performances they will unveil the best possible event after Pro Kabaddi League (PKL)
‘The viewership (TV 5 will host all matches live) will be high even in the remotest corners of Telangana because kabaddi is a top of the order sport in the interiors. Moreover, the league will bring financial support to players from all eight participating franchises. There is no room for doubt that the standards that will be dished out will be of a very high calibre,’ he said adding that the sport was robust in Ranga Reddy and Nalgonda districts while the talent from urban areas like the twin cities and even some semi-urban cities and towns was worth taking note of.
It is a good indication of the sport’s popularity that most government departments are fielding institutional entries while private clubs have also sprung up in every nook and corner.
Yadav said as an administrator he feels delighted that sponsors are coming on board for events like PKL and TPKL, which essentially reinforces kabaddi’s popularity as being second only to cricket in India. On that count, it has been relatively simpler to attract sponsors who have joined in as owners of the eight franchises.
Jagadishwer Yadav, who is Chairman of the Technical Committee of Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), meanwhile, decried the prophets of doom who have been seeing bad days ahead for India in the wake of the Asian Games debacle.
‘A loss should not be seen as the beginning of the end in professional sport. India remains the world No One. Agreed that there was a streak of over-confidence among the players while coaches floundered when it came to tactical planning in that substitution were not according to the situational requirements. I am sure that the think tank will sit together for a brain-storming session, do an honest soul-searching and make suitable amends,’ pointed out Yadav, speaking about the larger picture.
He also refused to believe that materialistic gains from PKL or TPKL would have changed the mindset of the players.
‘I don’t subscribe to such prejudiced perceptions. The Jakarta setback notwithstanding, as a seasoned administrator, and as one who has seen the diligence and determination with which the players go about their job, the players, endowed with natural talent, will soon script memorable wins that will erase the negativity that has seeped in. They will restore India’s monopolistic hold in the world of kabaddi,’ he averred,
Meanwhile, he is all set to showcase a ‘wonderfully successful kabaddi feast’, come Friday.