Kabaddi, a sport known for providing spectators with the display of strength and mind has been around in India from thousands of years. Kabaddi has been a significant part of Indian sporting culture, especially in rural India. The sport has seen a surge in its popularity over the last 4-5 years. This growth has come because of the inception of a kabaddi league, called pro kabaddi league. The association has transformed kabaddi from being a rural sport to becoming the second most-watched sport in India, after cricket. The whole subcontinent is familiar with kabaddi, but the real powerhouse has always been India.
Improvement of Kabaddi as a whole
Pro kabaddi league hasn’t just improved the standard of Indian kabaddi, but players from all across the kabaddi playing nations have improved by playing in this league. The foreign players playing in this league have gained more than the Indian players. India was already the Asian and world champion in kabaddi, but countries like Iran and South Korea have come closer to the Indian team by playing against the top players. The players from these countries didn’t have a good competition to play against before and playing in pro kabaddi league has sorted this problem. They already know the playing style of Indian players, so they can prepare and come up with a game plan against the Indians.
Contribution of celebrities
The incredible growth in the popularity of kabaddi hasn’t just come from the pro kabaddi league. The top celebrities of India have also contributed immensely in this revolution. From Bollywood stars to superstars from different sports, have come forward and helped in promoting the game. Before the start of every pro kabaddi match, one celebrity from cricket, Bollywood, politics, or some other field come and sing the national anthem. This tradition was started in the first season and is still going on.
Some famous names associated with kabaddi
Many celebrities are also the owners of some of the kabaddi teams. Like, Abhishek Bachchan (Bollywood star) is the co-owner of the Jaipur Pink Panthers team, and Ronnie Screwvala (famous Bollywood producer) is the shareholder of U Mumba team. These superstars attend almost all the matches of their franchises with their families and friends. When the fans see these superstars watching kabaddi, they also start following the sport. The glamour that comes with the association of Bollywood and cricket superstars with kabaddi has made it a pan India sport from just a rural game. People feel proud to talk about kabaddi and kabaddi players.
Inspiring the next generations
The considerable uplift in the popularity of kabaddi has also helped the players. The players who used to struggle to earn enough money to feed their family are now making millions of rupees in just 2-3 months. Some players have also attained the status of superstars, and fans queue up to take pictures with them. Some of the players have also become the brand ambassadors of some famous companies. When kids watch the glamour and money in the sport, they feel inspired to take up the game. The pro kabaddi league has helped in promoting this traditional sport in every corner of the country. No one would have anticipated such a revolution in kabaddi a decade ago.