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Season 2 of Pro Kabaddi kicks off tomorrow

Pro Kabaddi League

Mumbai:  The Season 2 of the eight-team Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League kicks off here at the NSCI Stadium tomorrow with hosts and last year’s runners-up U Mumba clashing with defending champions Jaipur Pink Panthers.

The fans of this rustic, rural sport that originated in the sub continent and is an Asian Games discipline in which the country bag its only gold medal in the 1990 Beijing Asiad, are keeping their fingers crossed that Season 2 lives up to the promise of the inaugural edition held last year.

The novelty of watching this game on a synthetic indoor mat instead of on its traditional mud pitch outdoors was one of the reasons for its success last year.

For this season squad strength of each outfit has been increased from 14 to 25 to allow teams greater freedom to not only field local and young talent, but to also ensure that they are not adversely affected by injuries.

The first leg of the season is scheduled to run from tomorrow up to July 22 after which the action is to shift to Kolkata, home of the Bengal Warriors.

Subsequently the league would move on to Jaipur, Patna (home of Patna Pirates), Hyderabad (new home of Telugu Titans from last year’s Vishakapatnam), Delhi (home of Dabang Delhi), Bengaluru (home of Bengaluru Bulls) and then Pune (home of Puneri Paltan).

The action would shift back to the NSCI here when the semi finals are held on August 21 followed by the 3-4 placings game and the final (both scheduled on August 23).

According to chief promoter of the League, Charu Sharma of Mashal Sports, the prize money this year has been doubled from last year to the tune of Rs two crore.

“The winning team gets Rs 1 crore, the runner-up Rs 50 lakh, the third-placed team Rs 30 lakh and the fourth-placed team Rs 20 lakh,” he told PTI.

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