It has been over two weeks since the first edition of the Pro-Wrestling League (PWL) ended. The league brought the sport to Indian living rooms, and that explains the sizeable crowds that thronged the Capital’s Indira Gandhi Stadium for the semifinal and final legs.
The league also meant big paycheques for many unheralded names in Indian wrestling. But for a few grapplers, the wait for the promised paycheque has extended beyond the New Year.
Many Indian grapplers from the UP Warriors team — owned by Lotus Green and co-owned by cricket star Rohit Sharma —, including captain Babita Kumari are still waiting for their payments.
Babita was bought by the UP team for Rs 34.1 lakh during the November auction, and as per the terms of contract, she should have received 80 per cent of the amount — Rs 27 lakh — by the end of the league. The remaining amount was to be paid within a month of the conclusion of the league.
“I haven’t received anything till now,” Babita told HT. “All I have heard is that we will get it soon and they are processing the payment,” she added.
Satyavart Kadian, the 97 kg weight-division grappler, also had a similar story to tell. “I am still waiting for my payment. I don’t know why it has been delayed,” said Kadian, who was signed up for Rs 20 lakh.
Although the support staff and advisor, Jagminder Singh, haven’t been paid, all the foreign players have received full payments.
But sources close to the league organisers told HT that all the wrestlers had been paid at least 40 per cent of the assured sum.
It is learnt that some players have raised the issue with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), which is in contact with ProSportify to resolve the issue. Both the WFI and ProSportify are guarantors and have to ensure that the franchises honour their commitments.
GS Mander, chairman of the PWL governing council, confirmed that some payments were pending. “We are aware of the situation. As per my understanding, the payments will be made shortly. The federation will see to it that the wrestlers get their money,” said Mander, who is also advisor to the WFI.