New Delhi: The players' auction for the inaugural Pro Wrestling League (PWL) will be held here on November 3, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh announced on Wednesday.
About 100 top international wrestlers from 25 countries, including Olympic and World Champions, and over a 100 Indians, including Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, will come under the hammer.
The wrestlers include more than 20 medal winners from the World Wrestling Championships held in Las Vegas last month. There are current European Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games champions and other international medal winners.
"The PWL players' auction will be a big landmark in the history of sport. It will give the six franchises the opportunity to bid for the best players and complete their squads," Brij Bhushan said in a release.
"The player pool is so rich in talent that after the auction we will have six squads to offer highly competitive action for wrestling lovers."
Veteran Bollywood actor Dharmendra and GMR Group, who also won the Delhi Daredevils IPL team, are among the six PWL franchises.
“I’m extremely happy that Wrestling is being presented in a world class manner at a global platform, with Pro Wrestling League. I’m sure that Indian wrestling lovers will get abundant opportunities at a grass-root level. I’m personally very fond of Wrestling as a sport as I played it in my youth and now I embark on a new journey through Pro Wrestling League," said Dharmendra, Owner of the CDR Punjab team.
Three-time women’s world champion Adeline Gray from the US has called the league as "historic move in International wrestling".
Mood is upbeat in India too. Double Olympic medallist Sushil is confident that the League would be a big boost to Indian wrestling.
"It will be a great boost when the cream of world wrestling comes to India. This will be a great opportunity for our players to travel with them and learn a lot. Besides the League will keep the focus on the sport and motivate the upcoming wrestlers," said Sushil.
The bid for the Olympics and World Championships winners will start at the base price of $50,000. "Each team has a player auction purse of Rs.2 crore. We are sure that all players picked will be delighted with the financial reward to play in the league," Brij Bhushan added.
Each team will have a marquee player. The bid for marquee player too will start at the base price of $50,000. As many as 60 players will find buyers since each of the six teams will have a 10 players, including four women -- a maximum of four overseas players and six Indians.