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Game goes global

Game goes global
A game which does not require money, one can play it without buying equipment or sportswear. No big stadium, track or turf is needed; yet playing this physically demanding sport is a fun. It’s Kabaddi that requires almost nothing. All that is needed, at minimum, is two people to play the game, on either grass or turf area. And most surprisingly India is the world champion in this game. With  seventh successive gold in Asian Games in Incheon this year, India has also given the rest of the world to follow the game in different other kabaddi leagues…

Six-time defending champions India retain the seventh gold medal in Asian Games after they narrowly edge past the determined Iranian side in this rematch of 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

The Indian side got off to the worst possible start of the tournament in Incheon but came back roaring to win the gold medal in the 17th edition of Asian Games. India beat Iran by 27-25 in this mouth-watering title clash. Indian eves too made India proud by also winning the gold medal in their match also against Iranian side.

Pro Kabaddi adds glamour
Pro Kabaddi, a first significant initiative takes the truly indigenous sport of Kabaddi to levels of new professionalism, which will benefit all stakeholders involved in the ecosystem of the game, Kabaddi, most of all and the players themselves. The eight-city league with games were played on a caravan format with each team played each other twice from 26 July  to 31 August 2014. In a significant value addition to Kabaddi, these games were carried live on prime time TV by the international broadcaster, Star Sports for millions to view across India and the world. This unique effort has the formal backing by the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), the Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF) & the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), who will be closely associated with the organization and delivery of this event.

The myth that kabaddi is a rural sport is broken. The 415 professional kabaddi clubs in Greater Mumbai, the highest of any city in India, are increasingly relevant, catapulted from being leisure clubs to prime-time TRP base and potential consumer base to sell merchandise. Mahindra’s association with the sport has been to use his visibility and those of team owners such as Jaipur Pink Panthers’ Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to grab the eyeballs. Besides, Big Bazaar man Kishore Biyani (Bengal Warriors) Uday Kotak from Kotak Mahindra (Puneri Paltan), Rana Kapoor who is founder of Yes Bank (Dabangg Delhi) are also associated with the league and making it cash-rich.When it comes to fetching the viewers to the game, Kabaddi seems spectators friendly. As per TV broadcasters’ data, the Indian Premier League (IPL) had 453 million viewers in the first 15 days, and the FIFA World Cup attracted 129 million viewers, Star Sports says the PKL hit 288 million vieweRs.

World kabaddi league
The Punjab leg of the franchise-based event was played in the state in September. The WKL arrived in Punjab after four successful weekends in three different cities and across two continents. The WKL, which literally made waves in London, Birmingham and Delhi, in the first 16 matches over four weekends, enthralled fans in the ‘Home of Kabaddi’ too.The first four weekends in Punjab featured four matches with all eight teams in action. Prior to the two weekends in Delhi, the WKL was inaugurated in London’s O2 Arena and the second weekend saw matches in LG Arena in
Birmingham, UK.

Wave World Kabaddi League is the first international Kabaddi league promoting the indigenous contact sport. The four month long mega tournament was launched at a high-profile event on 9th of August with the live performance of Akshay Kumar at the O2 Arena London. The following weekend saw matches move to LG Arena in Birmingham, UK. Weekend Sportainment format of Wave World Kabaddi League serves dual objective to target core contact sports fans & family audience. Played in Circle style, Wave World Kabaddi League is based on the Formula 1 touring sport format and is the first Indian sports league with an international footprint across different cities internationally, i.e., UK,India and Pakistan. The finals is scheduled to happen on 02nd of December 2014 at Lahore California Eagles, Vancouver Lions, Punjab Thunder, YoYo Tigers, United Singhs, Royal Kings USA, Lahore Lions and Khalsa Warriors are the eight teams.

World Kabaddi Cup in Dec
Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has approved revised dates of fifth edition of World Kabaddi Cup on the proposal of the sport organisations from various countries.  As per the new dates, this mega event of Punjab’s traditional game will now commence from December 5 to 15. Badal, who is also sports minister, has informed that there would be 10 teams participating in World Kabaddi Cup – India, Pakistan, Argentina, USA, UK, Scotland, Canada, Sierra Leone, Spain, Kenya and Denmark in the men’s category discipline while women’s teams from India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Kenya, UK, Malaysia, Denmark and Mexico would participate.

Kabaddi titans would vie for Rs 6.97 crore prize money out of which champion in either category would be awarded Rs 2 crore and Rs 1 crore respectively and Rs 1 crore and Rs 51 lakh for the runners-up. The opening and closing venues remain the same with opening at Jalandhar and the conclusion at Bathinda. The deputy chief minister, according to an official release, has issued strict instructions to conduct dope tests of players to ensure drug free World Cup and also approved the amount of Rs 30 lakh for the same.

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