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Zee Talkies celebrates Kushti with their show Zee Maharashtra Kusti Dangal

Wrestling has always been a popular sport in Maharashtra, and ZEE Talkies has created an innovative franchise-based format of this traditional sport — the Maharashtra Kusti Dangal. The tournament will be held from 2nd to 18th November 2018 at the Balewadi Stadium, Punewith six teams participating in it.

One of the oldest sports ever known, wrestling has evolved over the centuries and has been an integral part of the Olympic Games since 708 BC. It is an emerging trend among athletes today, especially Kusti, a traditional form of wrestling, a sport in which India has a rich heritage.

In more recent times, there have been many great achievements that have helped the Nation reach its peak of glory. Sushil Kumar’s Bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games & Silver at London, Yogeshwar Dutt’s Bronze, young women wrestlers like Geeta, Babita, Vinesh, and Sakshi’s glorious wins at the CommonWealth Games & the Olympics.

Maharashtra & Kusti have been insperable - Maharashtrians have been colouring the scoreboards of this sport with their names - Gama Pehlwan, Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, Mamasaheb Mohol, Chaburao Landge, Shreepati Khachnale, Dadu Chougale, Harishchandra Birajrao, Ganpatrao Aandalkar, Maruti Mane and many more. A journey that begaun with Shahu Maharaj and his love for the sport, to Rahul Aware from Maharashtra bagging the Gold Medal in the Commonwealth Games this year - Maharashtrian wrestlers have made India proud across the globe!

This prompted the Zee Group to give this sport an unprecedented platform, akin to the exposure other Indian sports like Kabbadi & Cricket have been getting. Zee Talkies will be the first channel to host such an event in the state of Maharashtra. Deeply rooted in Maharashtrian culture, there is a huge opportunity in this state – with untapped raw talent, brimming with potential and an ever-increasing love for Kusti. There could not be a more perfect inflection point for this sport to reach the next level.

This format will showcase ace Kusti champs - State, National & International men & women players. The 6 teams will be Veer Marathvada, Kolhapuri Mavale, Vidharbhache Vaagh, Yashwant Satara, Puneri Ustad & Mumbai Astra and all playoffs will be hosted at one central venue: Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, nicknamed Balewadi Stadium, at Pune. Each Franchise will play a definite of 10 matches in the league stage, and the matches will be played as per WFI regulations.

There will be a zingy anthem and a promotional video for ZMKD, sung by Ajay Gogawale, lyrics written by Guru Thakur and music composed by Vijay Gawande. Nagraj Manjule (of Sairat Fame) has directed the promo video for the anthem.

This tournament will be featured exclusively on Zee Talkies, starting 2nd November 2018.

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