IPKL scores first point as all welcome new addition to the Kabaddi family
If they are true to their sport, there is no reason why some of them and all of us together cannot take India back to where it belongs in a sport, which we gifted to the world â the absolute pinnacle.
When legal adversaries accept and acknowledge the public manifestation of your side of a court argument, it should give you immense satisfaction. The brand new Indo-International Premier Kabaddi League (IPKL) has in that aspect scored its first point even before an actual 'raid' has been made after being welcomed by all quarters post the announcement of its schedule and being banned by none.
With the opening day of the IPKL on May 13 at Pune's Balewadi Stadium drawing nearer, it is natural to have some speculations regarding the future of players, given the present existence of two leagues and two bodies. However, let me put all speculation to rest by saying that nowhere in the world has more game time, an additional sporting platform and more live television coverage ever worked to the detriment of players. On the contrary, they have always worked to their benefit. Examples and precedents exist in this country itself.
A certain Ambati Rayudu one remembers used to play in a different T20 cricket league to the one, which dominates today, but the talent that he was, could never be kept out of the mainstream limelight. Similarly in football we have seen more than one top national property exist simultaneously for over three years now. As much as some key stakeholders have reported having experienced some financial distress, the player community has continued to benefit and the pool of professional footballers has continued to grow exponentially in the country. In fact, the IPKL is fairly certain, that through its planned 44 league games across the cities of Pune, Mysore and Bangalore in the inaugural edition, a new crop of young, talented and dynamic kabaddi stars are all set to emerge.
As we embark upon this new dream, my mind goes back to my playing days and the euphoria of winning the Asian Games gold for the country for the very first time. How we wish we had so many avenues to play and pursue our passion for kabaddi during those days. The players today are definitely luckier in that regard. It is now up to them to grab their chances. If they are true to their sport, there is no reason why some of them and all of us together cannot take India back to where it belongs in a sport, which we gifted to the world — the absolute pinnacle.
The writer is a former India Kabaddi captain
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