Catering to India’s very own sport which has its roots in the mud, the Pro Kabaddi League has seen the sport evolve from being an uninviting one to the colossal spectacle that it is today. Two seasons is what it took for Kabaddi to be discovered- yes, it’s just been two seasons! From the famous purple mat to the fans cheering in the stadium, the chants of Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi to the overwhelming sweaty smell of a team’s victory, Kabaddi as a sport although due for the recognition that it is getting in the recent times, has been seriously underrated.
I still remember the very first time that the Pro Kabaddi league was announced- the office was abuzz with excitement. Not only did a league on a sport like Kabaddi come as a surprise, but it also put the desi emotions into a sudden found exhilaration. The initial chuckles soon settled into some serious game emotion and the hope of the league being the ‘next big thing’ in the Indian sports television scenario started settling in. Even the ones who had admired the sport but could not say it because it was just-not-cool, had found a reason to celebrate!
Talking about the sudden found popularity for the sport, the most admired team in the league are the Jaipur Pink Panthers. With Abhishek Bachchan being the team owner, the team manages to get the added glamour of Bollywood too. For the matches being played in Jaipur, this team has a massive fan following in their own backyard (in addition to the fans across the nation), and the hoots and the cheers not only will motivate, but also boost the Panthers to perform well in this year’s competition.
Having won the inaugural title in 2014, the team has a lot of expectations already riding on them. Also a lot of big-ticket sponsors have willing retained themselves with the team. As the buzz around their play grows stronger, what remains to be seen is if the first ever Pro Kabaddi League champions will repeat their phenomenal run in the upcoming season or not?