In a huge blow to Kabaddi players and fanatics in the country, the organisers of the Pro Kabaddi League have announced that the 2020 season of the tournament will be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The PKL, launched by business tycoon Anand Mahindra with his brother-in-law and sports commentator, Charu Sharma in 2014, had achieved a cult following after they basked on the popularity of Kabaddi in rural India. The PKL has overseen seven successful seasons so far, with Patna Pirates being the most successful franchise in the tournament's history.
In an official statement on their social media account, the organisers of the Pro Kabaddi League confirmed that the eighth season of the tournament will not hit the floors this year. The statement read that in light of the current circumstances and the official guidelines surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the organisers had regretfully decided to postpone the competition. The announcement also said that the decision was taken with regards to the health and safety of players and officials in the context of indoor contact sports.
The statement, however, confirmed that the Pro Kabaddi League will be back next year whenever it is safe to resume. The Pro Kabaddi League were set to encounter problems in any case if they had decided to organise the tournament this year. Their official five-year deal with Star Sports ended last year according to Sportstar, while their agreement with primary sponsor Vivo was also cancelled due to the India-China standoff. Vivo were also sponsors of the recently concluded IPL 2020 but were replaced by Dream11 before the season kick-started in the UAE.
With Kabaddi action on hold until next year at least, a documentary on PKL franchise Jaipur Pink Panthers is all set to be released in early December. The docu-series titled as Sons of Soil, will cover the journey of the franchise since they were bought by Bollywood superstar Abhishek Bachchan in 2014.
The Pink Panthers had won the inaugural PKL, but have since failed to hit similar heights, reaching the final only once in six succeeding seasons. The documentary will be released on December 4, with Abhishek Bachchan playing a pivotal role, as he guides the audience through the team's successes and hardships.