New Delhi: In the era of social media, the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) has created history by managing to raise a team worth over Rs 7 crore from a simple WhatsApp Group.
Veer Marathas, the debutant team from Mumbai, hold that distinction as they prepare to make one final assault to enter the semi-finals.
What is even more fascinating is that the team that boasts of World and Olympic medal winners and many Indian stars came into being in just two days.
The team took shape in the WhatsApp group called Indian Sports Fan. A purely non-cricketing platform, it is, of course, not any run-of-the-mill group.
It has in its ranks some of India`s biggest sportspersons, including Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleswari, Hockey Coach Harendra Singh and World Championship medal winner Anju Bobby George.
One of the members happened to be Gaurav Wankhede, a sports enthusiast who has also played sport at a high level. He told Pro Wrestling League promoters that the Indian Sports Fan group has a number of international and national journalists as well, apart from a number of accomplished sportspersons, and keep updating each other on every aspect of all Olympic sports.
"Almost by accident, we mentioned to Gaurav that we were on the lookout for a new owner for one of our teams for the upcoming season of PWL," a member of the group said.
"He got really excited and told us that he would speak to his childhood friend, Ranjit Saxena," he added.
The rest, as they say, is an amazing precedent in the history of social media apps.
"I jumped at the idea when I heard about the opportunity," Ranjit Saxena, who eventually became owner and mentor of Veer Marathas, said.
"I spoke to my other friends and within 48 hours we were ready to take part in the auction," he added.
Ravi Jain and Sameer Jain also joined the bandwagon as co-owners, hail from Delhi and also come from varied backgrounds.
Saxena explained that they didn`t have any time to prepare for the auction or the league itself later.
"It all moved very fast and I think we managed to build a very good team. It has been an exciting journey so far and I am looking forward to take our association to a new level," he said.
"Our destination was, however, not the league itself. Our goal is to promote wrestling in a big way in Maharashtra. The state used to be the home for wrestling in the past. We will try to regain that past glory with our initiatives," an excited Saxena said.