The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is not in talks with the Sri Lanka Kabaddi Federation for hosting the eighth edition of the tournament in the country, the league's organisers said in a statement on Thursday.
The league is usually held between July and October with matches hosted by different cities accross the country. But the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdown has put doubts on whether the 2020 edition can be held in a similar format.
"The health and safety of our players and other participants is the paramount and key consideration in our decision, alongwith complete compliance to official policy and guidelines," said a spokesperson for the organisers Mashal Sports.
"We are also not in discussions with the Sri Lanka Kabaddi Federation to hold Season VIII in Sri Lanka. Anything that we finalize will be done only after the due consultation with the authorities, AKFI (Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India), PKL Teams, and other relevant stakeholders."
The league further said that Sri Lanka Kabaddi Federation President Anura Pathirana denied having any conversation with league officials of potentially hosting the tournament.
"Anura Pathirana, President, Sri Lanka Kabaddi Federation, clarified to the Pro Kabaddi management that no discussion has been conducted with any officer or functionary of Pro Kabaddi about the prospects of the league being conducted in Sri Lanka and that any statement ascribed to him in this regard is incorrect and a mis-representation of whatever he might have said on this matter," it said.
Beyond kabaddi, Sushil Kumar is my role model: Pawan Sehrawat
One of the top raiders in the Pro Kabaddi League, Pawan Sehrawat made his debut during Season 3 as a right corner with the Bengaluru Bulls. Popularly known as the Hi-flyer, Pawan grabbed eyeballs in his very first season as he was named the Bulls leading raid-point scorer with 45 points. However, things changed in Season 4 and he was unable to leave a mark following which he was picked by Gujarat Fortune Giants in Season 5.
Sehrawat was on the bench for a majority of the fifth season but made a fervent attempt to bounce back in Season 6 when he returned to the Bengaluru Bulls. He ensured the spotlight was fixed firmly on him during his comeback against Tamil Thalaivas as he wreaked havoc on the mat, pocketing 20 raid points.
His scintillating and consistent performance throughout Season 6 saw Pawan being crowned the MVP of the season where Bengaluru Bulls won the title for the first time.
Speaking Pro Kabaddi's Instagram Live chat show, 'Beyond The Mat', Pawan Sehrawat spoke about his transition from a right corner to a raider, "Before becoming a raider, I used to play in right cover and right corner! I was recruited in the Railways as a right cover/ right corner and not as a raider. Even in Pro Kabaddi League, I joined in as right corner. I started off by playing as a raider sometimes and then used to go back to the right corner, just like Surender Nada, who plays in the left corner and then raids.
"When the team wanted a raider, I did a couple of raids and our coach Randhir Singh told me to continue raiding till I get points. During the third season I used to play in the right corner, but after that, I became a complete raider."
Pawan also opened up about what was his game plan during Season 5, "I tried to perform well when I was with the Gujarat Fortune Giants. I tried to impress the coaches with my performance, I tried to raid and take as much points as I can. Things didn't go according to the plan and I wasn't able to perform well to impress my coach. I was able to perform well during the practice, but didn't reflect in the actual game and I hold myself responsible for that. I entered the sixth season with a clear vision about impressing the coach."
En route his five-season old journey, Pawan has drawn inspiration from many role models. Speaking about his role models in the kabaddi fraternity and beyond, he said, "Beyond kabaddi, Sushil Kumar, the wrestler, he is my role model! In kabaddi, Manjeet Chhillar and Rakesh Kumar are really good players! I draw a lot of inspiration from Manjeet Chillar, he has been a really good captain and is a really good player."