Why international Kabaddi requires more attention from Kabaddi lovers
There arises a feeling of rivalry when U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers face off on a Kabaddi mat just like how the India-Pakistan rivalry brings competitiveness in cricket. Commentator Suhail Chandhok named a group stage match as 'the most controversial match in Pro Kabaddi history' when these two teams collided against each other in Jaipur in 2017.
The unseen on-mat play of Jasvir Singh and the anger of 'captain cool' Anup Kumar; this match had seen all of this coming through. Just as the match ended, their fans would argue on social media about their teams' respective performances. But were the same fans quick enough to praise Jasvir and Anup when they brought gold medals home on multiple occasions? The answer is sadly a no.
The Pro Kabaddi League played an enormous role in resurging Kabaddi from its roots back in 2014 and has provided limelight to a lot of Kabaddi players. It allows many Kabaddi lovers to get excited daily as soon as the matches come along. With the mix of colourful jerseys, theme songs and Bollywood glamour, the exhilaration gets uplifted and we get to witness the mix of entertainment with action-packed raiding and mighty defending.
Kabaddi fans get to wonder in their creative heads where they test various combinations, discuss the playing 7 and study the SWOT analysis of their teams with their beloved ones. Individuals who may not follow Kabaddi suddenly may see themselves cheering for Bengal Warriors just because of their Bengali lineage.
But when it comes to the Indian Kabaddi team, people usually are less interested and refrain from cherishing the nine gold medals which the Indian team has brought home in the Asian Games or the three World Cups that India has won.
Almost every player that has worshipped the game of Kabaddi dreams of making it to the international level and represent India. These players train hard and toil day after day working on their gameplay just to raise the tri-coloured flag of our beautiful nation, India. Our love and respect towards Kabaddi has allured many nations such as Kenya, Argentina and Japan to adapt and uplift its legacy all over the world.
Kabaddi has been a topmost priority for most of the fresh newcomers who've accepted it as a career option. In the past, where Anup Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and Navneet Gautam focused on extending their international career, the youth of today give continuity to Kabaddi's legacy on the big stages.
It allows the youngsters to get employed under Indian Navy, Indian Army, Air Force and other boards to devote themselves to Indian ethnicity. The Indian culture gets promoted and our traditional game of Kabaddi gets uplifted.
If it wasn't for the Pro Kabaddi League, maybe Pardeep Narwal would have searched for an enrollment in a university today. Maybe Rohit Kumar would have searched for a full-time private job. Maybe Surender Nada would have been busy playing tug-of-war or maybe Rahul Chaudhari would be playing a lead actor in movies.
We are bound to being thankful that the Pro Kabaddi League exists but somewhere down in our hearts, we have forgotten to value our the players who represent India and play for its reputation and glory.
Asian Games and the World Cup are stages where many nations compete in a platform built to inspire youth, uplift sportsmanship and idolize equality. It needs the topmost priority because it raises international cooperation among nations and values their cultures irrespective of their colour, caste, or creed.
All of us are together because of our beloved game of Kabaddi. It is the game that needs endorsement with high regard because it teaches teamwork and discipline. If people join hands together in supporting national sides as much as they enjoy franchise-based tournaments, Kabaddi will definitely meet its long-term goal of an Olympic berth in the years to come.