IPKL will provide Indian kabaddi selectors more options

Updated: Apr 25, 2019, 07:40 IST | Honappa Gowda

A loss at the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, was the first time where we couldn't grab pole position

IPKL will provide Indian kabaddi selectors more options

Honappa GowdaWe have been an undefeated force at the Asian Games since the introduction of the sport of kabaddi in the continental competition. A loss at the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, was the first time where we couldn't grab pole position. This is a testimony that many other countries are catching up by playing in our league and are now even able to defeat us at the biggest international showdown of kabaddi.

If we are to ensure sustainability of our legacy, we need to have a larger pool of players to select from and it is where the need of Indo International Premier Kabaddi league (IPKL) arises. Our prime objective is to give more options to the selectors and the best possible talent at their disposal.

A journey that started with a rigorous selection process with a panel of Arjuna Awardees and previous international players conducting trials across 16 cities of the country, ended up receiving over 4000 registrations.

This is greater testimony of the fact that one league isn't enough, there is more scope and demand for the game of kabaddi to expand and reach greater heights. After this gruelling selection process, we have been able to narrow down on 160 players which includes 146 home-grown talents who have been drafted into eight franchises.

The draft has ensured that every team is entitled to a fair chance of competing against each other along with a majority representation from local players adding to the level of gameplay in the league and also truly showcasing a team that represent that particular region.

My confidence is further boosted after seeing the efforts of New Kabaddi Federation and the broadcasting partners who wish to ensure that IPKL turns out to be a visual treat for the audience.

In addition, the league is going to drive a new sense of ownership and accountability amongst the players as they are not mere players in the league, but the very stakeholders in the overall success of the league. This is a step towards creating a robust pipeline of players for the Indian national team and will act as a supplement to re-establishing our supremacy in the sport.

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