The game of Kabaddi has taken some huge leaps forward in the viewers across India and the recently concluded Kabaddi World Cup saw the home team India emerge victorious again and retain the Championship crown.
India beat Iran 38-29 in the World Cup Final and few days earlier their achievement was awarded by the sports ministry of India. The Indian kabaddi team was in New Delhi for a felicitation by Sport Minister Vijay Goel on Thursday.
Goel also announced a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh each for the players. “All players and the coach will be awarded,” Goel said. He also promised that the government will appeal for the inclusion of Kabaddi at the Olympics (Well at least that will assure a certain medal for us).
India’s captain Anup Kumar and others admitted that the Pro Kabaddi League has been the pioneer of this surge of Kabaddi in India and it must be continued to enhance the appeal of the game to people. Anup said that both the Indian and foreign players were benefited by PKL and it has raised the standards of the competition internationally. He appealed more countries to get involved in the game as only then Kabaddi may be considered as a part of the Olympics. He also denied lack of competition in the World Cup and recalled that India lost to Korea in the opening match, which speaks itself for the level of competition in the World Cup.
Man-of-the-tournament and top-scorer in the final, raider Ajay Thakur said more and more foreign players were coming to India for the PKL and thus they improved their standards as well, “When you spend so much time with and against each other you are bound to learn the weak points of other players, know their strengths and their secrets. They come here and learn.”
“But we have the advantage of having played kabaddi for centuries. I have myself been playing for 10 years now. That is our strength. But it is getting close constantly,” Thakur further added.
It was a great moment for all the players to be felicitated for their outstanding achievement and hopefully many more glory years to come. It has been a gigantic and much deserved rise of our national game, hope the surge continues.
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Photo by Doha 2006