MWCL Sports LLP and Maharashtra State Wrestling Association along with Colors Marathi have announced the launch of Kusti Champions League (KCL) – Apla banda, khel zinda. KCL will serve as a mega platform for the sport by creating opportunities for local Maharashtrian players in the field.
Organised by MWCL Sports LLP in association with Maharashtra State Wrestling Association, the live telecast of Kusti Champions League will be aired exclusively on Colors Marathi and Voot. The league will premiere on October 7 and conclude its inaugural season with a grand finale on October 28.
“To uplift the sport further with an international approach towards mat wrestling, KCL collectively aims to bring contenders from six regions of Maharashtra on one platform and establish them as strong contenders for Olympic 2020,” said Pushkaraj Kelkar, Founder of Kusti Champions League. “We want to take wrestling to every nook and corner of Maharashtra, give it the deserved fame and create an international platform for the sport,” Kelkar added.
Balasaheb Langde, General Secretary, Maharashtra State Wrestling Association and Maharashtra Olympic Association, said, “Kusti, the most ancient sport of Maharashtra will now be presented to the audience through Colors Marathi. Prior to this, kabaddi has been viewed in league format, which was a commercial success for both the players and organisers. Similarly, to ensure that this Kusti League is a successful initiative, we would require the support of the people of India. This league will play a vital role in the player’s morale for the 2020 Olympics.”
“Wrestling has been one historical sport that has always contributed to India's sporting prowess, and we are proud to be associated at the state level to take it into the next phase of uplift and are keenly looking at least five medals from state at the 2020 Olympics,” said Pradeep Iyengar, COO of Kusti Champions League.
Ravish Kumar, Head, Regional Entertainment, Viacom18, said, “Kusti or wrestling happens to be one of India’s oldest sports and is a sport which requires skill, strength, strategy and determination. Even today, kusti is a popular source of entertainment for people in towns and villages. While Indian wrestlers have been doing us proud in international arenas, we believe it is about time that kusti gets its due recognition and popularity. With this endeavour in mind we have collaborated with the KCL to air these matches on Colors Marathi, thereby bringing the excitement of kusti into millions of homes across Maharashtra. Moreover, Colors Marathi, with its history of innovative programming, is the perfect platform for this sport to find the audience it truly deserves.”
KCL will be played by six teams consisting of 72 players in total. KCL has selected over 300 players from across Maharashtra for an auction process for the six teams. Each team will consist of eight men and four women who are professionally trained in kusti. The cities participating in KCL are Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Kolhapur. The league is structured with six weight categories – four categories for men and two for women. A total of 90 matches across 21 days will be played on mat and soil at Balevadi Stadium, Pune in Maharashtra. The exclusive telecast of all matches will be available on Colors Marathi from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm starting October 7.
The official radio partner for Kusti Champion League Season 1 is Radio City.
The participating teams are Jigarbaaz Nashik, Kolhapur Shahu, Jaabaaz Aurangabad, Narveer Nagpur, Zunzaar Pune and Ranayoddha Mumbai.