Kabaddi To Go International


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Kabaddi seeks to move into international arena

The ancient Indian game of Kabaddi is being driven into the international limelight as it tries to attract a new generation of fans.

By Ben Leach
Published: 8:21AM BST 24 Jun 2010

Players from the Pakistani Kabaddi team watch as Indian player tries to get free from a defender during a Kabaddi match in Islamabad Photo: REUTERS

The Kabaddi World Cup, which was held recently in the northern Indian state of Punjab had more financial backing than ever before.

Players from nine countries, including Britain, competed for a first prize of ten million rupees (£145,000).

Each team member stood to earn £20,000 – more than the average Indian kabaddi enthusiast would normally earn in their whole career.

The Indian captain, Mangat Singh Mangi, and the Canadian Kuljit Singh – the “men of the tournament” – were each awarded a tractor.

S.L Lote, a sports director for the Punjab, told The Times: “The world of kabaddi had never seen anything like it.

“In this part of the country it was a bigger draw than the Indian Premier League (the lucrative and hugely successful cricket tournament).”

The US, Spain, Italy, Iran and Australia all took part in the tournament, which was the first of its type to be recognised by the International Kabaddi Federation.

“The Commonwealth Games and the Olympics, those are our aims,” said Ashok Das, vice-president of the federation and a coach for the British army team.

“Next year we hope to have a World Cup in England, in either the Midlands or Southall.”

In Kabaddi two teams of seven take turns in sending a single “raider” into the other half of the field.

The raider tries to tag or pin down an opponent before returning to his own side while holding his breath and chanting “kabaddi”, which means “holding of a breath” in Hindi.

Some Images:

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Kabaddi World Cup

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Originally posted 2011-05-09 15:00:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter




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