The New Kabaddi Federation of India (NKFI) on Wednesday launched the Indo International Premier Kabaddi League beginning on January 26.
The NKFI in the presence of film star Randeep Huda and several political personalities from the ruling party also launched the logo for the league, which the organizers said can peacefully co-exist with the Pro Kabaddi League to “promote the sport” and “support the sportsperson”.
The New Kabaddi Federation of India, the league organizers, and owners will launch a pan-India talent-hunt from October 6 to pick the players for the league draft, slated for January 5. “We are launching the league with the purpose of giving a fair chance to all players; to encourage competition in the interest of the sport. We will also in an unprecedented move offer 20% of the league profit to the players. No other league has ever done it. The ultimate aim is to ensure an Olympic berth for Kabaddi,” NKFI general secretary MV Prasad Babu said the launch of the league in New Delhi.
With a winner’s cheque of 1.25 crore, the league will see over 1000 players, both domestic and International players, competing as part of eight franchises.
There is a pool of 823 Indian players, that includes 271 state-level players, 137 national and International level, 84 International registered players with NKF. The player draft will take place on January 5.
The league will feature eight teams in the inaugural edition, namely Bengaluru Rhinos, Chennai Cheetahs, Delhi Dumars, Telangana Bulls, Patna Panthers, Haryana Hurricanes, Mumbai Marathas and Kolkata Tigers.
Each franchise will have 2 to 3 international players. The format is one of double round robin; the league stage will consist of 62 matches over a period of one and a half months. The top 4 teams will qualify for the playoffs stage.
Each team will feature players from across the globe namely; New Zealand, Poland, Argentina, Tanzania, Australia, Norway, United Kingdom, Canada, and the USA; Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Mauritius, Kenya, Iraq, Denmark.
Interestingly, the federation also decided to distribute 20 percent of the annual profits from the league to the participating players.
All 62 games will have a live stream on DSPORT, a sports TV channel by Discovery Communications India.
The league is a big step for The New Kabaddi Federation (NKFI), which was formed in May last year. The body is yet to be recognized by the International Kabaddi Federation; which is under the aegis of Olympic Council of Asia.