THERE will be no World Kabaddi League matches in Abbotsford this weekend.
The WKL announced on Tuesday that “seeing the overwhelming response from spectators, sponsors and other stakeholders,” it decided to hold the remaining matches in India only. The finals will be held in Lahore, Pakistan, as had been originally scheduled.
The WKL said: “Fresh venues have been identified keeping in mind the audience response. Apart from Bhatinda, Mohali and Jalandhar in Punjab, the League will traverse to newer terrains with Bhopal and Mumbai as new venues added. The additions is strategic keeping in mind the high viewership ratings that Wave WKL has been receiving ever since it reached India after a successful UK inaugural stint.”
Raman Raheja, CEO, Wave World Kabaddi League, said, “We have got superb response [to] the League especially in the Hindi Speaking Market (HSM) and the franchise owners were also of the view to go on with the League in India so that they could continue to build up the support, prime TV audience and popularity of the league. This is a positive move keeping in mind the momentum Wave WKL has built for kabaddi amongst the elite audience.”
Pargat Singh, Commissioner, Wave World Kabaddi League, said, “We have seen amazing acceptance of the League among the fans in India. Keeping in mind the popularity of the game, we have decided to continue to play rest of the matches in India. Pakistan will be our venue for the finals where the government has agreed to provide us full support.”
LAST weekend in Mohali, Punjab, the UNITED SINGHS, which had lost three of their last four games, became the first team to beat leaders KHALSA WARRIORS in the Wave World Kabaddi League as they scored a whopping 67-57 win over them on Sunday night as the Mohali (Punjab) leg of the League came to an end.
In the earlier matches, Lahore Lions beat Vancouver Lions 66-57 and California Eagles beat Punjab Thunder 63-52.
Despite the defeat, Khalsa Warriors stayed on the top with 21 points from 12 matches with 10 wins, one tie (against Punjab Thunder) and one loss.
United Singhs moved to 12 points from 11 matches and joined Lahore Lions (12 points from eight matches) and California Eagles (12 points from 11 matches). So, there are now three teams with 12 points each in tied second place, though Lahore Lions have played fewer matches.
* LAHORE LIONS beat VANCOUVER LIONS 66-57 to rebound from their surprise defeat a day earlier. Vancouver Lions won the toss and went against the normal practice by asking Lahore Lions to make the first raid. Lahore Lions promptly scored the first point as Akmal Shazad Dogar made a successful raid. Lahore Lions made no less than four stops as against just one by Vancouver Lions resulting in a four-point lead for the Lions. Raiders Akmal Shazad Dogar and Muhammad Ramzan of Lahore Lions scored points with six and five raids respectively, while stoppers Khaleel Ahmad (one stop) and Mohammad Aslam Dogar (two stops) added to their scores. Lahore Lions ended the sessions at 18-14.
The second quarter saw Lahore Lions extend that lead to seven points. Raiders Akmal Shazad Dogar and Muhammad Ramzan of Lahore Lions made seven successful raids each as Lahore Lions dominated the session once again. Stopper Mohammad Aslam Dogar made it even better for them. Although star raiders of Vancouver Lions Gagandeep Sabrawa, Balwan Singh and Sucha Singh converted many successful raids their stopline was unable to back them as well and Lahore Lions moved to 35-28.
The last two quarters saw a tight finish but the early lead held for Lahore Lions. Gagandeep Sabrawa and Sucha Singh of Vancouver Lions converted seven and five successful raids respectively but Akhmal Shazad Dogar and Mohammad Ramzan made eight and six successful raids for Lahore Lions, who maintained the lead by their side with a score of 51-43 at the end of third quarter. Akmal Shazad Dogar and Muhammad Ramzan of Lahore Lions ensured their side stayed well in front as the match ended 66-57 in their favour.
* CALIFORNIA EAGLES scored a convincing 63-52 win over PUNJAB THUNDER in the Wave World Kabaddi League. Their third successive win helped California Eagles leap past Punjab Thunder. California Eagles won the toss and opted to raid first. It was a session dominated by the raiders. California Eagles scored a point of each of their 15 raids and added three more with successful stops, one each by Angrez Singh, Mikhail Jamaal and Virender. In contrast, Punjab Thunder managed to score only 11 times from their 14 raids and failed to stop any of their rivals. Baldev Singh Babu, Harjeet Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Sukhpal Singh and Parneek Singh stood out for California Eagles who lead 18-11. For Punjab Thunder, Sultan Singh with four raids and one stop and Baljit Singh with three successful raids were the stars.
In the second quarter California kept up the pressure as Mikhail Jamaal and Angrez had two stops each and their raiders kept the momentum going. Punjab Thunder’s star raider Sultan Singh, too, was stopped twice though Rana Alishan and Lakhveer Singh Lakha made two valuable stops for them. Raiders Parneek Singh and Baldev Singh made good raids for California Eagles and the difference swelled to 12 points 34-22 by the end of quarter.
In the third quarter Punjab Thunder put in a better performance and narrowed the gap, but California Eagles were never in danger. By the end of the third session, they led 48-38. In the final session once Punjab Thunder’s best efforts were kept in check by stoppers of California Eagles. Raiders Talwinder Singh Grewal and Gurpreet Singh of Punjab Thunder tried hard but the fine performances by raider Baldev Singh and Sukhpal Singh of California Eagles gave them no chance as they won 63-52.
* VANCOUVER LIONS continued their resurgence as they outplayed the YO YO TIGERS 68-53 in a fairly one-sided match. That win gave Vancouver Lions their fifth win in 11 matches. Yo Yo Tigers won the toss and opted to go for the first raid. Harpreet Singh of Yo Yo Tigers set the ball rolling with the first point of the match with his successful raid. Kuljeet Singh and Sucha Singh were the star raiders and Amritpal Singh Sheru was successful stopper for Vancouver Lions in the session. For Yo Yo Tigers Gursewak Singh and Rupinder were the star raiders. But by the end of the first quarter Vacouver had set the tempo with an 18-13 lead.
In the second quarter Vancouver Lions opened with a successful raid and they never looked back after that. Balwan Singh, Sucha Singh and Sukhvir Singh Sabrawa of Vancouver Lions performed well with four successful raids each. Amritpal Singh’s three amazing stops added to the might of the Vancouver Lions who opened a 15-point lead at 38-23 by the end of second quarter.
The third quarter was again dominated by Vancouver Lions with the help of successful raids by Balwan Singh and Kuljeet Singh and excellent stops by the skipper Narinder Ram. Although the raiders of Yo Yo Tigers tried their best to come back to the game they just could not manage. By the end of the third quarter Vancouver Lions led Yo Yo Tiger 55-35 and the match was virtually over. Despite some aggressive raids by Yo Yo Tigers Vancouver Lions stayed well ahead as Kuljeet Singh gave them 100% successful raids. Raiders Gursewak Singh and Vikas of Yo Yo Tigers tried hard for their team but it went in vain as Vancouver Lions won 68-53.
* Punjab Thunder is co-owned by Daljit Thind, Founder and CEO of Thind Properties, Rajat Bedi, Bollywood Indian film actor who currently lives in Richmond, and Monty Sikka, President of the Monark Group whose head offices are located in Surrey.
* Vancouver Lions is owned by Gurjit Singh Purewal, well-known blueberry farmer.
* Yo Yo Tigers is Toronto-based and is owned by Mahesh Pawar of Mahavir Hanuman Group real estate infrastructure projects, Yo Yo Honey Singh, an Indian rapper, music producer, singer and film actor, Deepak Kaistha, a business leader, and former MP Ruby Dhalla.