Asian Kabaddi Championships 2017: "Authorities should have ensured telecast of tournament," says India star Deepak Hooda
The Indian kabaddi team defeated Pakistan on Sunday in the final of the Asian Kabaddi Championships 2017, thus asserting its dominance over the sport at the continental as well as world level. It was a completely one-sided affair, as were India's other matches in the competition, which saw them win six straight games and take home the trophy.
The Indian side and fans were both delighted with the success as the team ran riot, recording emphatic wins against Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan and Pakistan in the group stages and then comfortably overcoming challenges from South Korea and Pakistan in the semifinal and final respectively.
However, the victory was marred by a tinge of sadness as the matches at the competition were not broadcast on television back home in India. The absence of coverage becomes even more significant, keeping in mind how the recently-concluded three-month-long Pro Kabaddi League Season 5 was beamed across channels by the Star Network in multiple languages.
"It is a sad thing that there was not telecast at all on TV," said Puneri Paltan star Deepak Niwas Hooda, speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda after returning from Iran. The all-rounder was a vital cog in the Indian lineup over the course of the tournament, slotting in as a cover defender.
"Such events should certainly be broadcasted. We really liked it when everyone across India watched us play in the Pro Kabaddi League and even we could also see ourselves on TV," he said.
The former Telugu Titans man added, "The organizers authorities should have certainly made an arrangement to telecast the matches in India. It means a lot to us if we know people back home are seeing us play and it gives us an extra boost."
The 14-man India side that travelled to Iran had a host of Pro Kabaddi League superstars and in the covers, it was Hooda who played a starring role along with Bengal Warriors man Surjeet. The Pune skipper started India's last three games of the competition and thus has established himself as a firm starter in the Indian side.
When asked about playing in the cover position, Hooda said, "It was a decision taken after a detailed discussion with the coach and the players. We tried to see which combinations would work best in the lineup and when I was asked to play in defence, I was happy to do so."
Hooda had played in the same position in a number of games for the Puneri Paltan in the last season and as a result, he was able to adapt to the role in the national team as well.
The Indian team also had a number of youngsters such as Vishal Bharadwaj and Sachin were included in the final squad. Talking about them, Hooda said, "Most of our team consisted of established international stars such as Ajay Thakur and Surender Nada."
"However, we had a few young players in the team as well and I am certain it was a wonderful experience for them. They were given game time in the tournament as well and I am sure what they learned in Iran will go a long way in their development," he said signing off.