No, this is not an advance April Fools’ Day prank!
The Times of India reports that “Kabaddi, India’s truly indigenous sport, is set to go professional with Pro Kabaddi, an eight-team extravaganza which was launched by business tycoon Anand Mahindra at National Sports Club of India” on March 14, 2014.
The report states that “Pro Kabaddi will be an eight-city league with games to be played on home-and-away basis in July and August this year. The cities likely to bid for franchise are Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Jaipur and Patna.”
Another ToI report states that Kishore Biyani (Future Group), Ronnie Screwvala (Unilazer), Uday Kotak (Kotak Bank), Rajesh Shah (Mukand Group), GMR, Murugappa Group have already pledged support to the league as franchise owners, and actor Abhishek Bachchan is likely to buy the Jaipur franchise. Each franchise owner will have to invest about Rs. 50 million per year.
It is extremely heartening to see funds being used to promote an Indian sport!
Let us all resolve to do our bit by watching Pro Kabaddi, either at the venues or on television.
Details about Kabaddi and its history are available on Wikipedia.