THE WRESTLING FEVER IS SOON TO HIT INDIA with the first ever PRO Wrestling League – ProSportify in association with the Wrestling Federation of India. The tournament that will be played from December 10-27, 2015 saw an exciting round of player auction at Hyatt Regency, Delhi on Tuesday
Over 50 Indian and international players were put under the hammer at an auction by international auctioneer Bob Hayton. Present at the event were Kartikeya Sharma, CMD of ProSportify and Vishal Gurnani, Director, ProSportify along with Bollywood personality like Dharmendra, adding glitter to the extravaganza.
It wasn't Sushil Kumar or Yogeshwar Dutt who earned the highest bid at the first ever Pro Wrestling League (PWL) players' auction as Ukraine's top female grappler Oksana Herhel was bagged by the Haryana franchise here on Tuesday, surprising one and all.
The franchise, bought by technology firm Olive Global, had no hesitation in bidding and then buying the reigning World Champion for a whopping Rs.41.3 lakh from her base price of Rs.33 lakh.
This took Oksana past India's Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar, also bought by Haryana for the second highest bid of Rs.39.7 and is also the icon player of the team.
The third most expensive buy was another female, Turkish Yesilirmak Elif Jale, a two-time World Championship bronze medallist, for Rs.39.7 lakh, who went to GMR Group-owned Delhi franchise.
The fourth most expensive buy was India's own two-time Olympic silver medallist Sushil who was sold to Uttar Pradesh for Rs.38.2 lakh as their icon. Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Babita Kumari was also added to the Uttar Pradesh squad for a healthy Rs.34.1 lakh.
The other notable buy for Punjab was reigning World Champion Vladimer Khinchegashvili, who was bought for Rs.35.3 lakh.
A total of 159 wrestlers went under the hammer to be bought by each of the six franchises - New Delhi, Bengaluru, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab -- with each having a purchase capacity of Rs.2 crore. Each team needed to have one icon player with all having a base price of Rs.33 lakh.
The tournament, with a total prize money of Rs.3 crore will be held from December 10 to 27. A total of 18 ties will be held during the tournament -- 15 in the league phase, two semi-finals and one final. Each tie comprises of nine bouts and will be played in accordance with the Olympics rules.
Each team will have nine players (five men and four women). Also, each team can have a maximum of five Indians and four foreigners.
The tournament will be conducted by ProSportify in association with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). The bidding was conducted by international auctioneer Bob Hayton.
The list of Icon players and the price they were bought are below