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Celebrities who are kabaddi fans

Bollywood, Cricketers and celebrities from different walks of life are ardent fans of Star Sport Pro Kabaddi

News 05 Mar 2016, 15:25 IST

The high-energy contact sport of kabaddi has recently shot up the popularity charts in India, and that is all thanks to the unique concept of Pro Kabaddi introduced by Star Sports.But the thrill of the game aside, another reason for the stupendous success of this sport is that many celebrities from different fields have backed it. Their star power and constant presence during matches have helped in the promotion of Indias indigenous sport, bringing in a lot of new fans.The Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, which is celebrating its third season, has seen a steady rise in the number of celebs associating themselves with the sport over the years.Aamir Khan kicked off the third season in January with his mellifluous rendition of the national anthem. Apart from him, other celebrities like Monali Thakur, Usha Uthup, Alia Bhatt and Yash have also recited the anthem during the tournament.Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Suniel Shetty, Riteish Deshmukh, Genelia Deshmukh and Rishi Kapoor have also shown their support for the sport. The cricketing world has also been smitten by the sport with Rahul Dravid and , arguably, the greatest player to play the sport, Sachin Tendulkar, revealing his love for kabaddi.Here are a few instances of celebs helping to bolster kabaddi:

#1 Abhishek Bachchan, Ronnie Screwvala

Abhishek Bachchan Aishwarya Rai Ronnie Screwvala
Abhishek Bachchan (L) and Ronnie Screwvala (R) own teams in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi

Actor Abhishek Bachchan, who has diversified into different sports lately, struck immediate success with kabaddi. The Jaipur Pink Panthers, owned and managed by Bachchan Jr., won the inaugural edition of the PKL by defeating U Mumba in the final.

Abhishek, who got interested in the sport after watching his father play it in a film, is actively involved in motivating his players before and after every match. He said that he did not need to think twice about investing in kabaddi as he felt it was only a matter of time before it caught the imagination of the masses.

“I had played kabaddi casually as a kid and felt that it was dying to erupt on the sporting stage,” said Jr Bachchan.

Founder and former CEO of UTV Group Ronnie Screwvala, who owns the U Mumba franchise, has been equally successful as his side emerged winners in the second season. The sports enthusiast, who has delivered many Bollywood hits, recently revealed his plans of making a film on kabaddi.

“We are looking for a human angle in the storyline, after which we will take the plan forward,” Screwvala said.

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