India’s Test cricket team captain Virat Kohli has became a co-owner of Pro Wrestling League Bengaluru Yodhas, which is owned by the JSW Group, it was announced on Thursday.
Kohli said he was delighted with his move. “I was thrilled on hearing about the Pro Wrestling League and JSW Bengaluru Yodhas. I am no stranger to the city of Bangalore and it is wonderful that I can extend my association by way of the Yodhas,” he said, referring to the IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore that he captains.
The Pro Wrestling League believes Kohli will give the sport the kind of fillip it requires. With words of encouragement for his new team, Kohli was quick to show his faith in the team.
“I am confident that the Yodhas will be a vital cog in the scheme of things. I am excited and cannot wait to follow all the action on the mat,” he said.
The Pro Wrestling League, which starts on Thursday in New Delhi’s K.D. Jadhav Stadium, pits six city-based franchises against one another in one of the richest freestyle wrestling tournaments in the world.
Kohli’s Bengaluru Yodhas will face Rohit Sharma’s UP Warriors in their opening fixture.
Parth Jindal, director JSW Sports, said that Kohli’s association with Bengaluru Yodhas was exactly the kind of impetus that the sport needed.
“Virat is currently one of the biggest names in Indian sport and one of Bengaluru’s favourite athletes. We are delighted to welcome him on-board as a co-owner of the Yodhas. Virat’s intensity and passion for sport has always been his hallmark and I am sure the same determination will be transferred to the Yodhas as we look forward to a successful first season in the Pro Wrestling League,” he said.
The Bengaluru Yodhas are captained by 74kg wrestler Narsingh Yadav, India’s sole medallist at the 2015 World Wrestling Championship.
Giving Narsingh company are Sandeep Tomar, Bajrang Punia, Ukraine’s Pavlo Oliiynik and Georgia’s Davit Modzmanashvili in the men’s section.
Five-time World Championship medallist Yuliya Ratkevich of Azerbaijan is the Yodhas’ star in the women’s draw. She is joined by USA’s Alyssa Lampe, India’s Lalita Sehrawat and Navjot Kaur.