Now women will also fight on the field of Kabaddi, as the official broadcaster of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Star India proclaimed the launch of the Women’s Kabaddi Challenge on June 28, an enterprise by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) in association with Mashal Sports. The Uday Shankar-led media network is a majority shareholder in Mashal Sports, the promoter of PKL.
Having such a massive popularity and monetised the game on television, the network now targets to get things going for the women's Kabbadi. While it isn't yet an annual tournament, it will use the PKL stage as a unveiling pad.
There will be three teams - Fire Birds captained by Mamtha Poojari, Ice Divas captained by Abhilasha Mhatre, and Storm Queens captained by Tejeswini Bai. The first match will be played on June 28 at the Dome in the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stadium in Mumbai, with the finals set to be hosted alongside the men's Pro Kabaddi Finals on July 31 at Hyderabad. The women will be competing on the same sized mats as the men, but will have 30-minute matches, with two halves, instead of the 40-minute format for men.