Kabaddi, the flavour of the season
With the hotly contested Pro Kabaddi League going on in full swing, Kabaddi seems to be the talking point everywhere. Though it is one of the oldest sports, India's indigenous contact sport has not changed much in terms of how it is played. With Kabaddi getting a rejuvenated following with PKL, let's find out how many of these facts do we know about it.
Kabaddi, the ancient sport of India
Kabaddi is believed to have been in existence since the pre-historic times, dating back to over 4,000 years. The modern day Kabaddi as we know it today gained global exposure when it was demonstrated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics by the Indian contingent. The contact sport is now played world over with India dominating the game at various international events.
The different names of Kabaddi
Kabaddi is known by various names. It is said to have been a derivative of Tamil word Kai-Pidi (meaning holding hands), it is called Chedugudu in Andhra Pradesh, Kauddi in Punjab, and Hu-Tu-Tu in eastern India. It's called Hadudu in Bangladesh and Bhavatik in Maldives.
More countries play Kabaddi than you think
Kabaddi is big in Asia and is played with fervor in countries like Iran, Thailand, China, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It has also been gaining popularity in the Western world. The 31-member IKF (International Kabaddi Federation) includes the likes of England, USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Further some non-members of IKF also have national teams like New Zealand and Argentina.
A National sport here
Kabaddi has been the national sport of our eastern neighbors Bangladesh since 1972.
India have won all the World Cups
India's sheer dominance in the sport is reflected in the fact that all the Kabaddi World Cup events, Men's and Women's, held so far have been won by India alone. This includes the first Men's World Cup in 2004, followed by 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016; and Women's World Cups in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016.
Not part of Olympics yet
Despite its popularity, Kabaddi has never been a part of Olympics. There is possibility of it achieving the Olympic sport status by 2020.