हे गोपा विहरिष्यामो द्वन्द्वीभूय यथायथम् ॥ १९ ॥
kṛṣṇaḥ prāha vihāra-vit
he gopā vihariṣyāmo
Kṛṣṇa, who knows all sports and games, then called together the cowherd boys and spoke as follows: “Hey cowherd boys! Let’s play now! We’ll divide ourselves into two even teams.”
The word yathā-yatham means that Kṛṣṇa naturally wanted the two teams to be evenly matched so that there would be a good game. In addition to the pleasure of sporting, the purpose of the game was to kill the demon Pralamba.