2016 Kabaddi World Cup: Each player of the Indian winning team gets reward of Rs.10 lakh
The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup winning Indian team has finally been rewarded for its triumph and each member will be awarded INR 10 lakhs, according to an announcement made by Indian Sports Minister Vijay Goel. India defeated Iran 38-29 in a closely contested game to claim the trophy in Ahmedabad last month with raider Ajay Thakur starring on the night of October 22nd to take his team past a strong opposition, who were leading at half-time.
Man of the tournament Ajay Thakur, earlier, had expressed his discontent to Sportskeeda about the Indian kabaddi team not being given any rewards for its achievement. He had said, “The entire team was given Rs. 10 lakh by the Sports Ministry, and that is it. If you divide it yourself, you will realise the amount is nominal. I am not saying that we should be showered with gifts. But sporting achievements regardless of the sport should be celebrated. I’m jubilant that we managed to win the trophy and even happier that the entire country lauded us. But when you see other athletes, such as Olympians and everyone being felicitated, but us getting ignored, it’s a bit demotivating.”
The Sports Minister, Vijay Goel then made the announcement of the reward at a felicitation function which was held at his residence. He was quoted as saying, “All players and the coach will be awarded. We will also strive that this game of ours is there in Olympics. It’s not just about cricket, we want football, hockey and other games to be promoted.”
The Indian team were tipped as firm favourites to lift the crown that they had won back in 2007. However, they started the tournament in rocky fashion, losing to Korea in the opening encounter of the tournament. They even trailed initially in the finals against Iran before staging a comeback to win the trophy.
More teams should play the sport, says Anup Kumar
Despite a dearth of international competitions, apart from the Asian Games and the Pro Kabaddi League, many foreign players came to the fore and showcased their talent at the World Cup, lending a global appeal to the sport.
Indian skipper Anup Kumar hoped that more people would play the sport , “Competition is tough out there but the advantage that we have is that it’s our rural game, we have played it since childhood and they have started playing it only recently. We lost to Korea in the first game, we were trailing against Iran in the final. There is a lot of competition but it is only good for the sport. If more countries do not play the game, how can we expect it to be taken seriously for Olympics? We need more and more teams to play the sport to raise its profile.”
The gap is getting close, says Thakur
India’s lanky raider and the top-scorer in the final, Ajay Thakur, said that a number of foreign players were gaining experience and honing their skills by participating in the Pro Kabaddi League.
“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 said.
India won the World Cup against Iran for a record third time, in front of their home crowd at Ahmedabad, prior to which they had defeated their Middle-East rivals by a single point in the 2014 Asian Games final, which according to the two players made the recent victory even more sweet.