Voyage of Ashok Das: The 'Kabaddi Daddy' who took the sport beyond India
Aspiration and immense faith that the day will arrive. The day when the sun rises with flowers dancing with cherishes in the Kabaddi world, the day when Kabaddi becomes a part of the Olympics. Ashok Das is driven to turn his ambition into reality. It is the years of uncountable hardship that has turned football adoring nations like England, Poland, U.S., Argentina, Kenya, and Mexico be a part of our game of Kabaddi.
Ashok Das is the current acting president of World Kabaddi. He is the founder and president of the England Kabaddi Association (EKA). He has acted as the president of European Kabaddi. He still coaches the British Army Kabaddi Team with immense devotion towards the enrichment of the game in Europe where the game was once known as 'Dabba' Kabaddi.
Early years as a passionate Kabaddi player
Ashok was born in Kapurthala in a traditional Punjabi family. Back then Kabaddi was a game hidden under the shadows. Circle Kabaddi existed during those days, perhaps a cheerful way of spending leisure time. However, Ashok's first love was Basketball. A sportive and light-hearted Ashok used to get his training back in Kapurthala during those days.
Just like how a regular morning practice would go, a 17-year-old Ashok was practicing his dribbles next to the place where the U-19 Kabaddi trials were going on. A coach named Satish came up to him and asked if he was interested in Kabaddi. Ashok accepted cheerfully. However, after the trials, the coach opted to keep Ashok out of his team that left Ashok dejected.
Back then, an eminent circle Kabaddi player named Sarban Bal saw Ashok's passionate devotion towards the game. He was a coach of rectangular Kabaddi as well. With the expertise of Surban Bal, Ashok trained hard and played the under-50kg competition held in Andra Pradesh.
Ashok got selected to play at the national level and participated in the All India Nationals in Andra Pradesh as well as All India Rural Nationals held in Amritsar where he won a silver medal back then. He represented the Punjab Kabaddi National Team from 1978 to 1981.