In a boost to women’s kabaddi, three teams will debut on the same court alongside the men with 13 by 10 square metres in a 30-minute clash in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) on Tuesday.
The challenge will reveal three teams — Fire Birds captained by Mamtha Poojari, Ice Divas led by Abhilasha Mhatre and Storm Queens led by Tejeswini Bai.
The first match will be played on Tuesday at the Dome SVP, National Sports Club of India, here while the final is set to be hosted alongside the men’s Pro Kabaddi finals on July 31 at Hyderabad.
Women’s kabaddi will be played across multiple cities — Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Jaipur and Pune.
A number of players in the women’s teams have won several accolades and have already proved themselves in the international arena. All of the three captains are Arjuna awardees.
“With Pro Kabaddi carving a niche in the sports arena, we felt the need to create the same opportunity for our talented women kabaddi players. We have handpicked best of the players across regions to form these three teams who will be part of the women’s kabaddi challenge. This initiative will bring tremendous benefit not only to women’s kabaddi but to the way overall women’s sport in India,” said Janardan Singh Gehlot, president of International Kabaddi Federation.
“Women’s kabaddi challenge is a manifestation of the journey that women have undertaken in all walks of our national life. We applaud the fact that women regularly challenge gender stereotypes in our society. Come Tuesday, this is where women will cross the line in kabaddi,” Anupam Goswami, league commissioner of Pro Kabaddi said.