India's kabaddi captain says Pro Kabaddi League will be a smash hit from the first year itself
When the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) was announced some months back, many wondered whether the sport would draw audiences at all. However, India’s kabaddi captain Rakesh Kumar has no doubts that the league will be a hit with the fans from the first year itself.
India skipper Rakesh Kumar demonstrates his signature lion jump during a Pro Kabaddi League promotional event in the city recently
“This league will show people that kabaddi is not behind any sport. People will flock to the stadiums to watch the matches as it is an entertaining package. I think the league will be very popular from the first year itself,” predicts the raider.
While it remains to be seen how far the league, which begins today at the National Sports Club of India, goes in popularising the sport, it has been hugely beneficial in getting some much-needed moolah for the sportsmen.
Kumar, who is the highest paid player in the league earning Rs 12.8 lakhs, is content that the kabaddi players are finally getting their worth. He also adds that contrary to popular perception, India’s kabaddi have never struggled to find jobs.
“Every player who represents India is employed with a government agency, be it Indian Railways, ONGC or the police force. Many players even hold good posts like DSP,” he says.
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A player, who enters the opponent’s side of the court chanting the words ‘kabaddi-kabaddi,’ is known as a raider