The gender equality bug has now bitten the organisers of Pro Kabaddi League. Now in its fourth season, in a first, a mini-league has been set in place for women’s kabaddi.
The organisers were contemplating the advent of women in the league since its second season. Asian Games gold medallist Mamtha Poojary was called in to be a part of the commentary team in the year 2010 and 2014, and now will captain of one of the teams. The league goes on for four days, in the first three days two men’s kabaddi matches are held and now for the first time the last day will witness a women’s match too.
“We had promised them from the first season that there will be a league for them soon. There was always a plan to have a women’s match, but we wanted to get the men’s league secure first,” explains Charu Sharma, managing director of the tournament’s organising group to Indian Express
For team selection, Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) held a selection camp in Mumbai in April. In all 60 women from all the states took part in the selection process and 36 women were chosen after the trial process. Out of these three teams are created of twelve members each namely Firebirds, Ice Divas and Storm Queens. All the teams will compete with one another in the robin round format which will result in six matches in total. The team that wins the most will reach the finale and the second and third will play another match to come into the decision of who will make for the second final team. Both the teams that reach finale will have the concluding match in Hyderabad right before the men’s finals.
The operations consultant for the league, Deoraj Chaturvedi explained that the teams are made up of the best kabaddi players in the country. It will be a great opportunity for the women to showcase their skills on such a huge platform that is recognised nationally.
Feature Image Credit: Sports Rediscovered.