PKL: ‘Playing Kabaddi has now become an accepted profession’, claims Pawan Sehrawat

Sehrawat
was
purchased
by
Tamil
Thalaivas
during
the
PKL
Season
9
auction
earlier
this
year
and
became
the
most
expensive
player
in
the
history
of
the
league
by
fetching
a
bid
worth
Rs
2.26
crore.

Sehrawat

who
is
missing
the
ongoing
PKL
2022
season
due
to
injury

credits
the
PKL
for
changing
the
lives
of
so
many
kabaddi
players.
Sehrawat
said,
“People
know
kabaddi
now
thanks
to
how
it
has
adapted
to
be
seen
and
loved
by
many.
This
was
a
sport
played
on
mud
first,
now
PKL
has
taken
the
game
to
another
level.
With
the
sport
being
broadcast,
players
like
me
are
getting
financially
independent
and
recognised,
and
our
fitness
levels
are
growing
due
to
the
nature
of
the
sport
and
league.
Our
motivation
is
to
do
well
from
season
to
season
in
the
league.”

“Kabaddi
has
been
a
sport
everyone
has
played
but
to
think
that
for
this
sport
to
make
an
athlete
economically
independent
has
been
made
possible
through
the
vivo
Pro
Kabaddi
League.
Players
are
now
getting
a
chance
to
work
with
brands.
Small
children
are
now
joining
academies
across
the
country.
The
league
has
played
a
big
role
in
showcasing
the
sport
in
this
way
and
in
turn
taking
it
from
the
roots
of
India
and
growing
it
worldwide.

“Playing
Kabaddi
has
now
become
an
accepted
profession
and
when
I
say
I
play
at
the
Pro
Kabaddi
League
I
feel
proud,”
the
raider
concluded.

Sehrawat
isn’t
wrong
in
his
opinion.
If
an
athlete
claims
that
he
is
playing
in
a
professional
league
like
the
PKL;
he
is
not
scoffed
upon,
in
fact,
he
is
treated
with
respect
and
adulation.

Only
over
a
decade
ago,
the
same
athlete
would
be
questioned
about
what
they
would
need
to
do
as
a
serious
profession
since
playing
the
sport
would
not
be
considered
as
a
viable
option.
This
is
the
role
broadcast
and
digital
media
can
play
to
take
sport
and
put
it
across
to
an
audience
to
make
it
aspirational,
make
stars
out
of
athletes
and
in
turn
grow
the
sports
ecosystem
in
the
country.

Anupam
Goswami

Head
Sports
Leagues,
Mashal
Sports
and
League
Commissioner
of
PKL

claims
the
overall
commercial
viability
of
sports
worldwide
and
broadcast
play
a
critical
role
to
build
mass
brands.
It
brings
in
sponsors
and
develops
a
successful
model
for
sports
to
thrive
tricking
down
as
measurable
benefit
to
the
athletes
and
growth
of
our
sporting
talent
pool.

Goswami
says,
“The
sports
ecosystem
consists
of
different
elements
that
draw
from
each
other.
Our
ecosystem
for
Pro
Kabaddi
has
four
constituents
on
a
league
level.
The
most
important
role
of
a
broadcaster
is
bringing
the
fan
to
the
core
of
this
ecosystem.
There
is
no
sport
without
consumers
and
fans.
What
we
do
to
engage
with
the
fans,
is
ensure
the
quality
of
competition
is
at
a
benchmark
level.
One
of
the
reasons
for
Pro
Kabaddi’s
success
is
that
we
are
the
highest
level
of
Kabaddi
in
the
world.
Once
we
get
the
competition
of
this
order,
we
naturally
attract
athletes
of
the
highest
quality.
Every
kabaddi
player
in
the
world
wants
to
play
in
the
league.
Regularly
the
highest-paid
athlete
outside
cricket
is
from
Pro
Kabaddi.”

He
further
added,
“What
works
well
at
Pro
Kabaddi
is
our
athlete
development
program.
Our
broadcasters
create
heroes.
Sequentially
it
inspires
the
next
generation
of
fans
to
take
to
the
sport
and
it
convinces
parents
to
invest
in
their
child’s
future
in
the
sport.
Once
we
have
high-quality
competition,
we
need
financial
and
institutional
sustainability
as
well
as
good
governance.
All
this
builds
our
ecosystem
and
gives
a
strong
leeway
to
grassroots
initiatives.
Kabaddi
academies,
across
large
belts
of
India,
are
rapidly
developing
with
children
joining
from
a
young
age.
There
is
a
growing
proliferation
of
kabaddi
tournaments
across
the
grassroots
which
is
a
healthy
sign.
The
engagement
of
spectators
and
fans
has
also
grown
drastically.
All
this
contributes
towards
the
growth
of
the
sport
both
in
the
domestic
and
international
arena.”

Season
9
of
the
PKL
is
being
broadcast
live
on
the
Star
Sports
Network
and
Disney+
Hotstar
from
7:30
PM
onwards
every
day.

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