On Friday, 29th August 2014, all roads in Mumbai will lead to the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) and the city will have a deserted look as the country prepares itself to witness the Semis, on the 29th of August and the Finale, on the 31st of August, of the spectacular Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League.
Reaching the crest of six weeks of power-packed performances during the league phase, touring the length and breadth of the country, the Kabaddi caravan will reach its climax, where it all began - the city of dreams, Mumbai. Previously slated to take place in Bengaluru, the Semis and the Finale of the league have now been shifted to Mumbai in a gesture to honour the fantastic set-up of the NSCI and the rousing welcome that the city's sports fans and celebrities extended to the league's inaugural leg. Priced at Rs. 300 per day, tickets for the finales will be available on Book My Show starting the 20th August and also at the stadium.
Since its inception and through decades, Kabaddi has made Maharashtra one of its favourite destinations in the country. Having hosted multiple national and international tournaments, the state has provided the country with some of its best talents in the sport and will also prove to be the best host.
Through the last two weeks, the league has witnessed the best of Kabaddi in a dazzling new avatar, with an impressive viewership and a great deal of interest amongst the masses in the country and beyond. Never before has any new league managed to create a buzz as huge as that created by the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League. The simulcast of the league on STAR Sports 2 and STAR Gold witnessed an astonishing 218 million viewers just in the first week. There were more than 1 Billion impressions on social media. Currently half-way through, the tournament is all set to conquer its next league-stage destinations - Pune, Vizag, Jaipur and Bengaluru.
At this stage in the tournament, with six victories and two draws, the U Mumba team has announced its Kabaddi prowess and have been on the top of the league standings with an undefeated streak in the first eight matches. Not far behind are the teams lead by two of the most charismatic captains in the league, Navneet Gautam's Jaipur Pink Panthers and Rakesh Kumar's Patna Pirates. Fighting to make each raid count, these teams have also rocketed themselves to top half of the table.
The commendable Bengaluru Bulls have also displayed some of the best performances in the tournament and have not dropped to the bottom half of the points table ever since the beginning of the league. Though the Warriors from Bengal, the Dabangs from Delhi and the Telegu Titans have fallen just short of wins in more occasions than one, their resilience has been remarkable. However the Puneri Paltans have their task cut out if they want to make it to the decisive stages of the league.
With the league proceeding to its closing stages at a swift pace, the Kabaddi juggernaut will reach its conclusion at the NSCI. Speaking about Mumbai hosting the Grand Finale of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League, Charu Sharma, Managing Director of Mashal Sports said, "Mumbai provided us with the perfect launch pad for the league and by hosting the finale, we are sure that it will provide a befitting farewell as well. Though we are sure that Bengaluru would have left no stone unturned to make the final few matches a grand affair, we wanted the League to come a full circle, reaching the pinnacle where we began. We are sure that Mumbai will greet us with the same warmth and euphoria in the concluding stage, as it did when we first started on our expedition. I would encourage fans to purchase their tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, given that we have had multiple legs in the league where tickets have been sold out days before to the league arriving in the city."
Mr. Uday Shankar, STAR India CEO concluded, "Kabaddi has every ingredient, including skill, strategy and speed, to emerge as a serious sport and win a fan following. The opening week response was especially encouraging given that it is a true blue Indian sport. We are confident that with the finale being held in Mumbai, the sport will once again receive unprecedented support from the fans at a similar or higher level to what the city displayed during the league stage matches held in Mumbai."