India’s win in Gorgan Asian Championships not good for Kabaddi
India sent a relatively young, raider heavy squad captained by flamboyant raider Ajay Thakur and indefatigable defender Surjeet Singh. Then the usual story unfolds –
India decimate Iraq 61-21
India thrash Afghanistan 103-25
India crush Pakistan to top group 44-18
India defeats South Korea in the semi-finals 45-29
India win Finals again vs Pakistan 36-22
India won by margins of 40, 78, 26, 16, 14 points compared to the median win margin of merely 4 points in PKL!! That gives us a quick overview of the standard of Kabaddi outside India. India’s dominance is not good for the sport. If AKFI wants Kabaddi to spread they need at least 2 more teams which create some competition.
Iran missing out
Iranian players are now in the big league, take Kabaddi more seriously and have won 43 medals in Wrestling Olympics. 5 out the 7 players have been big names in Prokabaddi. They lost the semi-finals closely to Pakistan in a tense match. Everyone who followed the tournament was waiting for Iran-India finals, were slightly disappointed to see Pakistan instead.
Where was Bangladesh?
Rumours are that Bangladesh was disqualified due to ‘bad behaviour’ in a tournament in Nepal. This is not good for the sport. The national sport of Bangladesh is Kabaddi. Zia ur Rahman played Left Cover for Puneri Paltan and was a force to reckon with even for the likes of Pardeep Narwal. Bangladesh not playing Asian Championships at Gorgan was a big miss!!
What Kabaddi Officials Need to Do?
- Allow countries like Bangladesh to play. Ban players for bad behaviour, not a country!!
- Conduct training camps conducted by Indian coaches like Khokar, Balwan Singh, Bhaskaran – maybe before tournament such as Asian Championships.
- Sell TV rights or at least telecast important tournaments on popular mediums such as Youtube, Instagram etc.