After the Indian Premier League ( IPL), Hockey India League (HIL), Indian Super League ( ISL ), Champions Tennis League (CTL), and Indian Badminton League ( IBL), another sport seems to have been bitten by the franchise league bug. This time around, it is wrestling. Very soon the wrestling fever will hit India with the first ever PRO Wrestling League – ProSportify in association with the Wrestling Federation of India. The tournament that will be played from December 10-27, 2015 .
Over 50 Indian and international players were put under the hammer at an auction by international auctioneer Bob Hayton. Present at the event were Kartikeya Sharma, CMD of ProSportify, and Vishal Gurnani, Director, ProSportify, along with Bollywood personality Dharmendra, adding glitter to the extravaganza.
The format of the auction suggested that every team will have a marquee player and the bid for each player started at the base price of INR 30 lakhs, making it the richest wrestling league in the world. The first ever auction of wrestlers in India saw the six franchisees battle it out for some of the India’s finest players like 2008 Beijing Games – Bronze medal winner Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Amit Kumar, Geeta Phogat, Babita Kumari, Geetika Jakhar, Bajrang Kumar and Vinesh. What followed was an assessment of business skills and a tough fight between the franchises to pick the players of their choice from a gamut of Indian and international wrestlers.
Kartikeya Sharma, CMD ProSportify & founder of PWL said, “PWL is a major event towards the development of wrestling in India and we are thrilled to be organizing it. It is going to be a game changer in the non-cricket leagues. We had some of the best wrestlers in the world as part of our auction and we hope that each team emerge as a strong competitor to give an action packed event to the fans. It will be our endeavor to focus on the essence of the sport without any compromise and keep the culture and heritage of the sport alive. It is most definitely going to be the most watched sport other than cricket in India.”
Vishal Gurnani, Director ProSportify said, “India has had a long history with the sport of wrestling. We are proud that the world’s first ever professional wrestling league is being launched in India. Over the next few seasons, PWL is all set to emerge as the most successful non-cricket sporting league in India.”
Rashmi, Member Governing Council, PWL, (Wrestling Federation of India) said, “Wrestling is a very Indian & a global sport. Hence, it has tremendous potential to reach to its mass audience and make an impact. Every wrestler is a star in its own and shall make India proud and PWL is going to offer them this platform. This is also a sport which gives men and women equal opportunity to showcase their talent.”
Shri. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, President of PWL said, “We see a great potential in the upcoming PWL league. PWL is going to bring the world’s biggest wrestlers both men & women & showcase their talent.”
Yogeshwar Dutt- Haryana for Rs 39.70 lacs
Sushil Kumar- Uttar Pradesh for Rs 38.20 lacs
Adeline Gray- Mumbai for Rs 37.00 lacs
Narsingh Yadav- Bangalore for Rs 34.50 lacs
Geeta Phogat- Punjab for Rs 33.00 lacs
Sofia Mattison- Delhi for Rs 33.00 lacs
The 6 wrestling franchisees include:
1) New Delhi : GMR Group
2) Bengaluru : JSW Group
3) Punjab: CDR Group & Legendary Dharmendra Deol
4) Uttar Pradesh : Lotus Greens
5) Haryana : Olive Global
6) Mumbai : Maverick Garducharya Industries & Mafatlal Industries