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The second season of the Telangana Premier Kabaddi League, which ended on Sunday with Warangal Warriors pocketing the coveted trophy defeating first-timers Palamuru Pathers, has scaled new heights.

The first season, which was held in Warangal and Karimnagar, was shifted to Saroornagar Indoor Stadium in city outskirts and it paid dividends as it not only allowed a quality production, but also reached wider audience.

Talking to #KhabarLive after the completion of the tournament, Sanjay Reddy, TPKL commissioner and chairman of SillyMonks Entertainment Ltd, said that the second season has been a huge success.

“The second season has seen drastic changes from the first season. We entered the league as 51 per cent shareholders and we added all our experience in media and entertainment industry to make it a big property. It is the only regional league that auctioned the teams. With our resources and eight owners and their resources joining hands, it helped us create a huge property. We saw crazy numbers in terms of viewership. From the first day to first week we got 250 per cent growth. It was two times more in the last week which was tremendous,” said a beaming Sanjay.

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“In terms of growth, I can say it is 10 times of what it was in the first season, be it in terms of production quality, equipment or sponsors. Metro came as transportation partner which was a big boost. If we can keep the cost under control, each league will breaks even on a minimum level so the financial viability is good. Then the sponsorship will help you distribute the profits to the team owners. It is good for the game,” he added.

League director and the Chintala Sports founder Praveen Kumar also echoed similar sentiments. “The first season was completely on experimental basis. The second is more vibrant. Crowd and all the team owners were involved in the league. The players have sponsors and good training facilities. We had good infrastructure compared to what we had in Warangal and Karimnagar. In terms of production, we had eight cameras in the set up last season. This season we had 11. And we had a top-angle camera which even Pro Kabaddi League doesn’t have.”

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He further added that promoting the game of kabaddi and allowing players reach higher level is their main motto. “Four guys from both States have been selected for PKL. More guys will get chances from this season to play in Pro Kabaddi or national teams. It is a platform for them to showcase their talent.”

Praveen informed that they are planning to extend the league to a 10-team affair if everything goes according to the plan. “We are giving a platform for the rural athletes to showcase their talent. At the end of the day, it is about players. They will get benefits commercially. The next season will have auctions for players as well. Now the players are being paid on whether they are national, state or district players.”

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The captain of the winning team Warangal Warriors Chennu Sunder Reddy was over the moon to the response the league garnered. “To be frank, the first season was a bit disappointing in terms of popularity and the level of competition. But the level of competition in the second season has gone up. All teams are equally good and the standard of the league is very high. With the league being held in Hyderabad, there was so much attention and attraction from the crowd,” he said.

The 28-year-old Nalgonda lad, who had national medals to his credit representing the State in junior level, added that the league like this will help them grow as players. “If we perform well, we can get into the national side, PKL or into the Indian side as well. It is a very good chance for the players from rural players to showcase their talent.” #KhabarLive