The season will see 12 teams battling it out over 13 weeks in what will be the biggest and boldest season yet.
With the inaugural match of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 now just hours away, the captains of all 12 teams participating in this edition came forth to officially launch the league and unveil the coveted trophy on Thursday. The first match of the 2017 edition will pitch Rahul Chaudhari’s Telugu Titans against Ajay Thakur’s Tamil Thalaivas, while the second match of the day will see Anup Kumar’s U Mumba taking on Deepak Hooda’s Puneri Paltan in the Maharashtra Derby.
The preparations for the inaugural ceremony have been in full swing, and it is likely to be a star-studded affair with a number of sports icons and celebrities expected to grace the occasion. The first match will begin with Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar’s rendition of the Indian national anthem.
With 12 teams battling over 13 weeks in 138 gruelling matches and a consolidated sum of INR 8 crore with the glistening trophy up for grabs, the league promises to be a cracker this season.
Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director of Star India, issued forth an impassioned speech at the event. “As we stand hours away from the fifth season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi, I am transported back to the day we decided to launch the league. I am filled with immense pride to see how the league has made a tremendous impact and grown continuously. It's now constituted as the biggest domestic sports league with 12 teams and expanding to new geographies. I look forward to a thrilling season of three months and I am confident that it will make history all over again,’’ he said.
League Commissioner Anupam Goswami also weighed in. “We are now one day away from the most thrilling season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi ever. I am proud, excited and, at the same time, grateful to the fans, franchises, Star and the federations for supporting us at every step of this journey. I look forward to an engaging season of kabaddi," he said.
Janardan Singh Gehlot, President of the International Kabaddi Federation, was also present and readily gave voice to his thoughts. "At the Federation, we are eagerly waiting to see how Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi unfolds. The players and their coaches have invested gruelling hours of training to put up a competitive front and give fans an action-packed sport to cheer for three months. We are confident that kabaddi will continue its upward rise in the days and years to come," he stated.
VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5, which will go on from July 28 to October 28, will be broadcast live on the Star Sports network, including the recently launched FTA channel Star Sports First, regional channel Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Suvarna Plus in Kannada, Star Maa Movies in Telugu and hotstar.