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Star's Pro Kabaddi League set to be bigger this season

Bajaj Electricals, Department of Atomic Energy, Flipkart, Mahindra & Mahindra, State Bank of India, Thums Up, TVS Motors and VIP Frenchie have signed up as associate sponsors, this season.

Star India is set to kick off the second edition of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League on July 18, in Mumbai. The inaugural match will be between Jaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba, the premiere season's finalists.

The sport will look to build on the tremendous success of the first season which saw a record 435 million viewers tune in, across the league, to follow this game in its all new, repackaged avatar.

Star's Pro Kabaddi League set to be bigger this season
With an objective to nurture and grow the sport in its bastion markets, Star Sports Pro Kabaddi will be broadcast in five languages - Kannada, Telugu and Marathi, along with English and Hindi, across eight channels of the Star network as well as on hotstar. The English feed will be carried by Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2, the Hindi feed by Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD3 and Star Gold. Maa Movies will broadcast the Telugu-language feed, while one can enjoy Kabaddi in Kannada on Suvarna Plus. Star Pravah will broadcast Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League matches in Marathi on Sundays only.

Enhanced graphics, analytics and commentary aim to make sure that the viewer experience is far more inclusive for season 2. The Indian game of kabaddi will also reach out to a huge global audience over 100 countries, including United States, United Kingdom, Middle East and Latin America.

Star's Pro Kabaddi League set to be bigger this season
Star Sports' head, Nitin Kukreja, says that the objective of the network this season is to make Star Sports Pro Kabaddi bigger and better, in terms of quality of play, broadcast and reach. "We are committed to reinvent the great Indian sport of kabaddi and set it in today's context. The task is to make the game relevant and aspirational for the millions of young and passionate fans across India," he states.

According to Kukreja, this season, the league will create a place of pride for the national anthem. Every day, during the league, the event will have eminent personalities and local musicians and bands sing the anthem in a manner that captures the essence of the entire country.

The league will have a social identity as Star Sports Pro Kabaddi pledges its commitment to the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan', across the eight franchise cities, to involve in-stadia audiences, franchise clubs, kabaddi players as well as viewers on TV to participate in keeping their surroundings clean.

On July 18, the opening night, Amitabh Bachchan will render the national anthem to kick-start season 2 of the league.

The upcoming season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League will feature a much deeper pool of national and international players. The squad strength of the teams has been bolstered from 14 members during the inaugural edition, to 25 for the second season. The company said in a statement that this is a move which allows teams greater freedom to not only field local and young talent, but also to ensure that teams aren't adversely affected by injuries.

Highlighting the mushrooming of the local eco-system for kabaddi, Janardan Singh Gehlot, president, International Kabaddi Federation, shares, "It gives me immense pleasure to see the kabaddi nurseries of India blooming again. Star Sports Pro Kabaddi has not only revitalised the sport, but has also made kabaddi a viable career option for young talent across the country."

"The primary motive behind creating a league such as the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi was to showcase the spectacular athleticism of top players and give these players their due. This new, international, competitive, sophisticated face of the game was appreciated equally by all sects of society, with an absence of a rural-urban divide. When it came to following kabaddi, everybody was equally drawn to it. I have no doubt in my mind that, armed with the continued commitment and encouragement extended by the federation, the team owners, the media and, of course, the Star network, all of us can look forward to another blockbuster season," says Charu Sharma, director, Mashal Sports.

Star has reiterated its commitment to the sport by renewing the title sponsorship for the second season of the league. Eight leading brands - Bajaj Electricals, Department of Atomic Energy, Flipkart, Mahindra & Mahindra, State Bank of India, Thums Up, TVS Motors and VIP Frenchie have signed up as associate sponsors this season.

Amitabh Bachchan has composed and sung for the #LePanga TVC, while actor Salman Khan has joined hands with the league to promote his new film 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'.