It is an beautiful and exciting period for Indian sports, when in a country obsessed with the sole sport cricket, other sports as raw, home-grown and unfenced as Kabaddi is capturing the attention of the people, especially since the advent of Pro Kabaddi league. The PKL has played a huge role in familiarising India with Kabaddi and revolutionalized it’s market in India.
In 2013 Star India and Mashal Sports came up with an idea of Pro Kabaddi League which was similar to Indian Premier League which gave the sport an atmosphere and chance to grow and develop again. This proved to be one of the game changing decisions in the history of Indian Kabaddi.
Three years later, ahead of the start of season 5, the PKL was totally free of the uncertainties of opening night. The addition of four new teams made the PKL the largest league in India in terms of number of franchises – 12 (IPL has eight, while the ISL has 10 like the I-League Division 1). This opened a ray of hope to tons of Kabaddi players in India who got a chance to showcase their talent on the big stage.
The idea of raiding and defence was interpreted to the audience in a beautiful ways. Jerseys with attractive colours, team mascots, innovative names all of these elements ensured the audience had their eyes stuck to their TV sets and the younger ones were now recognising Kabaddi as a game they would look forward to play when they go down in the evening to play with their friends.
Names like Anup Kumar, Surjeet Singh, Ajay Thakur, Manjeet Chillar had now become household names. People started following the career lines of players and rejoiced their acheivements. This also escalated to a whole different level when the fans went on to cheer for the Indian team in the Kabaddi World Cup amd the team got the support they deserved for such a long time. The team went on to win the world cup as they defeated Iran in the final and repayed the faith the people showered on the players.