IPL-style wrestling may debut next year

Kolkata: If all goes according to the plan the proposed IPL-style Indian Wrestling League may begin early next year, the president of the Wrestling Federation of India Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said on Sunday.

"The IWL is very much on and we would make an official announcement once we finalise the franchises," Singh said on the sidelines of the 58th Senior National Wrestling Championship that concluded here.

A minimum of six franchises are needed to start the tournament and as of now four have shown interest, the Member of Parliament from Kaiserganj in UP added.

It`s learnt that the league drew interest from states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra as the organisers were looking for franchises based in Southern and Eastern states.

The WFI president further said wrestling is growing in India by leaps and bounds and they are preparing for a second line of team and are confident to double the London Olympics 2012 medal haul of one bronze and one silver.

"We are hopeful of getting about eight to nine medals in the next Olympics (in Rio). Wrestling is becoming very competitive in India and we`re almost certain to double the London medal haul," Singh added.

The next in the WFI`s plan is to have a pan Indian presence of wrestling.

"This sport is more of a North Indian preserve, but we want to see wrestlers from all over the country."

The WFI will also pick one junior and cadet wrestler in each section for their national camp for the men`s in Sonpat and women`s in Lucknow, he added.