NEW DELHI: Sporting leagues have become the flavour of the country. Just a couple of days after the Pro Kabaddi League auctions, another kabaddi league called Indo International Premier Kabaddi League (IPKL) was launched by the New Kabaddi Federation of India (NKFI) in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The most striking aspect about the new league is their decision to give a 20 per cent share of revenue generated to all players besides assured salaries and prize money, a concept the organisers feel can change the way sports is run in the country.
The league’s formation, however, complicates matters for players. NKFI was formed only in 2017 and is recognised by a body called the World Kabaddi Federation (WKF). However, WKF is not recognised by the International Olympic Committee. Though Indian Olympic Association recognises Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India, because of Delhi High Court order, its operation rests in the hands of a court-appointed adminstrator. PKL is run under the aegis of AKFI in association with Star Sports.
For now, players playing in the IPKL cannot take part in the more established event.
It might even lead to bans.Former India cricketer Virender Sehwag, who was present at the launch, batted for the league and said bans were too harsh a punishment. “Players shouldn’t be banned for participating in unrecognised leagues. The sports ministry can decide on which will be the national association and who will run it. At the end of the day you have to watch the performance of players when you pick a squad.
On the aspect of revenue sharing among players, the former India opener had an interesting anecdote to share. “It always helps when you get a share in the revenue along with the fees that you get. That is a permanent income. We had to fight for it. We got 26 per cent, something which I don’t think you get in any other sport. Today if the players are getting paid so well in the IPL, what do you think is the reason?
“It is because of the efforts put in by Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid among others. Had they not fought, maybe there wouldn’t have been so much money in the game.”
Dates: May 13-June 4
Total of eight teams: Bangalore Rhinos, Chennai Challengers, Diler Delhi, Telegu Bulls, Pune Pride, Haryana Heroes, Mumbai Che Raje, Rajasthan Rajputs.
Three venues: Pune, Mysuru and Bengaluru.