Indian Wrestlers to Get Central Contracts Similar to Cricketers
In a move to make the sport more commercial, the Indian wrestlers are set to receive central contracts under the Wrestling Federation of India, similar to those of cricketers representing the nation.
Depending on their performances in international tournaments including Olympics, Youth Olympics, Asian Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, wrestlers will be placed under different grades.
The senior wrestlers will receive contracts under five segments while the junior players have four different grades. For instance, Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, Asian Games and CWG gold medallist Bajrang Punia as well as two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar are likely to get contracts in the highest grade.
This move – a first for an Olympic sport in the country – will also include wrestlers in the junior, sub-junior and U-23 age categories besides the senior ones.
After getting a positive response from the wrestlers about the system, an official meeting was convened at the headquarters of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) in New Delhi on Tuesday, 30 October.
In addition, the federation is also set to sign their first broadcast deal with a sports channel that will result in wrestling matches being telecast live from next year onwards.