‘It’s never too late’
Kabaddi is no longer a rural game played in muddy areas with unnoticed talent. The sport has had a new high and has become quiet glamorous with film stars and big shots investing their money in kabaddi teams. Yes, we are talking about the Indian Kabaddi League that set a new stage for Indian sports with a 45-minute format. It surely succeeded in gluing people to their television sets.
It’s not only cricket and the shorter versions like IPL that spectators are interested in. They are fascinated by the game of kabaddi and its tactics – of course when it came in a shorter version. The number of participation by people on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook talking about their excitement before matches being played as well as the attendance at stadiums upped the morale of kabaddi players. It also proved that Kabaddi is no longer a game that has been unnoticed throughout. The kabaddi buzz is all over the country!
How it started – Pro Kabaddi League
Kabaddi has attracted attention by all sects including men, women and children but we must admit that it was the changed format that really brought people into it. It all started with the Pro-Kabaddi League led by some leading corporates and industrialists. Also, a popular television channel became the long-term broadcast partner for airing the tournament. The new-found admiration for the sport was due to the equal amount of masala, passion, game and of course fashion with films stars and corporate honchos inside the arena. As Pro-Kabaddi League gained popularity and enthusiastic feedbacks, World Kabaddi League came up!
World Kabaddi League vs Pro Kabaddi League
With 8 international teams, the World Kabaddi League kicked off on a high note adding popular stars like Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha as the glamour factor in the sport. World Kabbadi League is played on a circular format unlike the Pro Kabaddi League that is played on a rectangular court. And yes, the same players can’t play in both the leagues. Not only that, there will be different governing bodies for each league, respectively.
Lessons from Pro Kabaddi League
In a country where cricket is religion, it was hard to see other sports get respect and noticed. And now when we see the excitement and recognition from people for the other sport, namely Kabaddi, it’s exhilarating. Kabaddi has had a total makeover with extraordinary attention and the credit of course goes to Pro-Kabaddi League for taking up the initiative of giving the sport a new name and status.
The initiative that could have been taken years back teaches us a lesson of experimenting with the strength of sportsmen. There is no dearth of good quality kabaddi players in India, yet it remained a rural level game, the sportsmen and the sport ignored. But with the Pro Kabaddi League and World Kabaddi League, the players will find more confidence and monetary gains in return of their hard work.
Pro Kabaddi League did not leave any chance to be turned down and its quiet a commendable job. They focused on the product, the place, price, promotion – all equally, which resulted in a new phase for Kabaddi – a new Kabaddi Era!
Kabaddi is a pretty simple but very eye-catching game compared to other sports. You don’t need expensive balls or other equipments. All we need is determination, hard work, teamwork, co-operation and assistance from concerned bodies!
The Sport will be the league
True, it would not have been easy to start a new concept and a sport league without money being invested by industrialists and Corporates into the game. It was a try-out for the players to prove themselves with adequate support from the governing bodies as well as the financers. Surely, it will benefit the sport and take Indian sports to a higher level. Yet, there is a long way to go when we talk about Kabaddi being recognised as an Olympic sport since it requires 50 playing nations. Presently, Kabaddi is played in 32 countries. No doubt, with the global popularity of the sport and formats like World Kabaddi League will inspire and encourage sportsmen to come forward and take up the sport. The journey might not seem very long for the sport to be recognized as an Olympic Sport.
Also, with the addition of social welfare expenditure by companies for the promotion of rural and national level sports would be in Corporate Social Responsibility, the future seems promising.