New Delhi: Following last-minute pull outs of top players including Sushil Kumar, the Pro Wrestling League made a chaotic beginning on the opening day of the competition here yesterday.
Sushil Kumar. Pic/AFP
With no plug points for the working media to scoreboard malfunctioning during the bout, the opening day of the inaugural edition was marred by all kinds of disorder. As the league clashed with the ongoing Indian Premier Tennis League (IPTL), it also failed to attract sizeable crowd. The stadium was at best half-filled.
In fact, some of the spectators claimed that they had come to support their respective companies, which own either the Punjab or the Mumbai teams the sides that faced each other here yesterday.
The opening bout started to only to be stopped after 19 seconds. The referee had to stop the bout as the cheerleaders did not know their positions, people were standing all around and there was total confusion.
The two players, who had already started their fight, went back to their respective corners and waited for the match to begin again. It finally commenced all over again with the scoreline revised to 0-0.
During the bout between Punjab's icon player Geeta Phogat and Sakshi Malik, there was not just confusion about the referrals taken by the teams but the judges also took a long time before reaching a decision.
In the last bout of the day, the clock malfunctioned. The wrestlers had to wait to restart their bout till the clock was adjusted again. Though there were some bright moments, the highlight being the presence of India Test cricket captain Virat Kohli, who was today named the co-owner of Bengaluru Yodhas team, during the inauguration of the League.
"I am glad to promote wrestling. Wrestling wins a lot of medals at the Olympics and other international tournaments. I hope they get better infrastructure so that we could get more medals. That's why am happy to promote it," said Kohli. Kohli, however, said that he would not be a part of the strategy making for the team, saying, "I will leave it to the experts".