Pro Kabaddi League has taken urban India by storm

My day starts at 6 in the morning. A quick shower and a bowl of oats later (and not to forget replenishing the water tank of my flat), I am off to my office in the jam-packed and infamous Virar locals. The usual morning conversation in the train ranges from celeb divorces to rising Subzi prices, and of course about our Prime Minister, Modi.

But, of late, I could see that my train mates have got a new topic to talk about. Raids, Panthers, Bulls…and oh, even pirates.

What are they up to? Last week, I could not hold myself back and shot them the question: “What are you discussing nowadays? Off to any hunting expedition?”

What followed was big belly laughter. They knew I was far detached from sports and all news surrounding them.

So finally, I decided that I should also learn about what my friends are talking about. After a bit of research, I realised that the trending topic is nothing else but our old game of soil, Kabaddi.

Kabaddi

The rustic game has now moved out of the hinterlands of our country to the major cities, thanks to the Pro Kabaddi League. With Star Sports streaming these matches live in English and Hindi, every home now resonates with the cant of ‘Kabaddi, Kabaddi…’ every evening.

Do Indians have a taste for any game other than cricket? The Pro Kabaddi League matches prove we do watch other sports, that too in large numbers. As per news reports, men, women and even kids have taken a liking towards these matches on TV and on the stands. The Business Standard recently reported that the viewership for Pro Kabaddi League matches was 218 million in the first week! Isn’t that a great deal?

crowd

The popularity of the game in metro cities also emanates from the fact that the rules of Kabaddi are very simple. The game is played between two teams, with 7 players from each team taking the ground at a time. Kabaddi is played on level ground divided by a mid-line. From one team, a player (raider in Kabaddi parlance) is sent to the opponent team’s court, chanting ‘Kabaddi, Kabaddi’. He has to touch a player and come back to his team’s court without stopping the chanting.

raid

The defending team, on the other hand, will stop the raider from getting back to his court. Seems interesting? You can read more about the rules of the game here: http://prokabaddi.com/history/rules.php

For the first edition of Pro Kabaddi League matches, the stars descended in hordes to cheer their favourite teams.

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All the Pro Kabaddi League matches were nothing less than a blockbuster. Emotions ran high, fists were clenched.. and wow, what a visual treat it was.

Now a thing which I can be proud of. My home team, U Mumba, is leading the table, after having vanquished almost all of the teams. They have really lived up to the spirit of the Maximum City, which never accepts defeat in any way. Way to go.. Team U Mumba is really Undefeatable Mumbai. We are there with you. And so is Lenskart, which has partnered with the team for this league.

U Mumba

 

 

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