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The Kabaddi battle goes off the mat

Akshay Gupta
15.82K   //    14 Sep 2017, 17:36 IST

Anup Kumar (in orange) was one of the players who took part
Anup Kumar (in orange) was one of the players who took part

Kabaddi is one of the most fiercely contested sports in the world with the players often seen indulging in heated arguments and battles due to its physicality. Players put in everything on the mat to give their teams a better chance at winning.

We’re now in the fifth season of the popular Pro Kabaddi League and the battle lines have diminished as we’ve seen it extend off the mat as well. The kabaddi players have found a new battleground – Twitter! And the ‘battle’ has seen players only #BreakTheBeard, and not bones.

On 10th and 11th September, kabaddi fans were up in arms against each other to argue which of their favourite stars executed the #BreakTheBeard challenge better.

Now, what is the #BreakTheBeard challenge?

#BreakTheBeard started with cricket earlier this year as players like Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan among others changed the style of their beards and posted the results on social media. The kabaddi players have followed suit as they were encouraged to shave their beard or style it in a completely different way and this move has struck a chord with the fans.

The fans saw this as an opportunity to back their favourite stars and compared their looks with those of the other players. A few Twitter accounts went to the extent of creating polls to get the results, a move which even saw the hashtag #BreakTheBeard trend across India.


Observing the polls, an interesting pattern emerged as people on Twitter pitted the veterans against the young guns.

Representing the experienced lot were Anup Kumar, Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Raju Lal Chaudhary and Shabeer Bapu while the young guns squad included Rishank Devadiga, Sukesh Hegde, Mohit Chillar, Ravi Kumar, Sandeep Narwal, and Surender Singh. Each of the players looked sharp post ‘breaking their beard’ and watching them strut their stuff on the kabaddi mat in their new look is a refreshing sight.

Although the results weren’t indicative of their playing ability or popularity, the frenzy it created on Twitter and the kabaddi players getting their due was pleasing to see. Just like the battles on the mat, all the Twitter polls were closely contested.

Here’s a look at some of the polls:

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This #BreakTheBeard activity has seen participation from cricket players as well as kabaddi stars. We, now, wait to see which sporting greats pick up the razor and continue this trend. And more importantly, who the fans think sported the look best!

Also read: Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Top 5 emerging stars 

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