Two seasons a year will popularise kabaddi: Screwvala

Mumbai :Ronnie Screwvala, owner of Pro Kabaddi League franchise U Mumba, supported the League taking place twice in a calendar year, saying it’s the right way to promote the game among the youngsters.

“Kabaddi cannot become popular if we have a six-week event and then a break of 11 months. Now it’s being held for six weeks with a gap of six months. I am happy with the development,” said Screwvala ahead of his team hosting the last league phase of the tournament from tomorrow.

Team captain Anup Kumar clarified his views aired before the start of the event by saying he had never been against the league being held twice in a calendar year.

“All I said was that kabaddi is a game in which injuries happen and the prospects increase (if it’s held twice in a year). But having two seasons (in one year) is good for the game,” said Kumar.

Defending champions U Mumba are placed second in the table going into the last leg at the NSCI’s Vallabhbhai Stadium in Worli here.

Unlike the previous season, when the league commenced in Mumbai, the current season would see the league’s last phase before the knockout stage here and Kumar was happy with this development.

“It’s good for us that the last leg of league is held here,” said the home team skipper and key raider.

Mumbai have a very good chance of entering the last four stage as they have 40 points from 10 games, and are lying behind league toppers Patna Pirates, who have already qualified for the semifinals with 57 points and another game in hand against Telugu Titans tomorrow.

U Mumba are set to clash with Jaipur Pink Panthers, who are already out of reckoning for a semifinal spot, in the opening game of the four-day Mumbai leg, which will conclude on March 2.

The semifinals are to be held in Delhi on March 4, followed by the ¾ place match and the final on March 5.