Following Puneri Paltans’ thrilling 30-30 tie with Patna Pirates in a Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) match at the Balewadi complex on Thursday night, coach Ashok Shinde had an interesting chat with his brother, who is at his native place Chiplun, over phone. “My brother said the roads in Chiplun are empty during kabaddi hours, with shops shut down and children preparing for HSC exams taking a break between studies to enjoy their favourite sport,” said Shinde.
The Paltans coach is a former international, who is familiar with the crowd response for kabaddi during tournaments. PKL appears to have caught the pulse of the people. “The main reason is the tweak of the rules to speed up the game. People demand thrilling action within a short time frame,” he said.
Shinde elaborated: “In new PKL rules, the time between raids was reduced to 30 seconds, with players becoming fitter and faster. Fans are enjoying the action in stadiums across India, and especially Pune, where kabaddi is popular in villages,” said the Arjuna awardee. “PKL 2016 will see many close matches. Patna Pirates is unbeaten so far; we forced a tie, so the interest will be more for the upcoming matches.”
Paltans will face U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls this weekend.
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