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Ronnie Screwvala likely to become team owner in proposed Women’s Pro-Kabaddi League: report


Following the success of the men’s event, the organizers of the Pro Kabaddi League are now exploring the possibility of launching a women’s tournament in the country.

Mashal Sports, the organizers of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), which is now in its 10th year, said they plan to launch the competition in partnership with the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF).

Following this, entrepreneur and investor Ronnie Screwvala has expressed interest in owning the women’s version of the team. He told Economic times that he would be interested in owning the women’s version of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).

“We are 100% interested in owning a team in the women’s kabaddi league,” Screwvala was quoted by ET.

Currently, Screwvala already owns the men’s pro kabbadi team – U Mumba, which is in its 10th year. Earlier on March 10, Suhail Chandhok was the CEO of U Mumba. According to the company’s statement, Chandhok will oversee the management and development of the franchise.

Team owner Ronnie Screwvala had said: “We are delighted to welcome him to the family, as CEO. From a professional athlete and a respected figure in the sports landscape to his extensive knowledge of the kabaddi ecosystem and other sports in the country, he will be a valuable asset to the company.”

This women’s version of PKL has followed in the footsteps of the ongoing Women’s Premier League.

Earlier on March 2, CEO of Mashal Sports and PKL Commissioner Anupam Goswami had said, “Our plans for a professional kabaddi competition for women are based on the success we have seen in the men’s competition and our commitment to growing kabaddi into a modern world class. sports from India.”

The CEO also added: “We will work with our various stakeholders including the AKFI and the International Kabaddi Federation to launch the women’s competition.”

Earlier in 2016, a test tournament, Women’s Kabaddi Challenge, was organized with three teams: Firebirds, IceDivas and StormQueens. Speaking on the announcement of the Women’s Kabbadi League, former India captain V Tejeswini Bai, who led the country to the last Asian Games gold medal in 2014 Incheon, said that a great dream will be fulfilled as the women’s league takes shape. “Since the launch of the Pro Kabaddi League in 2014, female kabaddi players in India have been striving to have their own professional kabaddi league,” Tejeswini, who captained StormQueens, told PTI.

“Now a women’s version of PKL will be a great dream come true for every female kabaddi athlete in India, as well as female kabaddi athletes from other countries,” added the Arjuna Awardee.

Not only this, India’s leading male kabaddi players also echoed similar sentiments. “Pro Kabaddi has changed the life and image of male kabaddi athletes across India,” former Indian captain Ajay Thakur told PTI.

(with input from PTI)

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.