This past Friday the 5th season of Pro Kabbadi kicked off in Hyderabad. This season will be the longest one yet. The league will take place in a span of 3 months, with 12 teams from different parts of the country taking part. The 12 teams are divided into two zones.
The teams from Northern and Western parts of the country are in Zone A, and teams from Eastern and Southern Parts of the Country are in Zone B. Each team will play 3 matches against every team in their zone, 1 match against every team of other zone and 1 match in a Wild card round in which opposition will be chosen randomly from both the Zones, in total every team will play 22 matches in the league stage. After all this the top 3 teams from both the Zones will enter in the playoffs.
The sport of Kabbadi and its popularity has grown drastically in the last few years with Pro Kabbadi. And the way it is growing the day seems to be not far away when our true National sport will give our unofficial National sport Cricket a tough competition. Already the Pro Kabbadi is giving a tough competition to its Cricket counterpart, the Indian Premier League (IPL). Pro Kabbadi is the second most watched professional sport league in India after the IPL, names like Rahul Chaudhari, Manjeet Chhillar, Anup Kumar and others which were unknown to people just years ago are now household names.
In the country where cricket players used to be the superheroes for the children are now being replaced by the Kabbadi players. When you see the people of a cricket loving country packing Indoor stadiums around the country to watch kabbadi with posters of Kabbadi players in hand, that’s a statement. A statement that the country is finally getting over from colonial hangover, and finally taking pride in its own roots. The growth in the popularity of Kabbadi is not just growth of a sport but is growth of Nationalism and National pride in India. Every country has its own sport, England has cricket, Japan has Sumo Wrestling, US has Baseball and now Indians can say we have Kabbadi.
The sport is not only growing in India but is growing around the world, and it was evident last year when teams of 12 countries took part in the World Cup of Kabbadi at Ahmedabad. It was a proud moment for Indians when they saw players from Australia, England, USA, Japan and other countries chanting “Kabbadi Kabbadi” and playing the game of our soil. The Game of Indian soil is now aiming at the international Sky.
It’s about time we say… THE LINE HAS BEEN DRAWN, GAME ON, KHEEEEL KABBADI!!!