For India to Regain Asian Kabaddi Supremacy, the Sport Needs to Increase Its Talent Pool

For India to Regain Asian Kabaddi Supremacy, the Sport Needs to Increase Its Talent Pool

Published:25 April 2019

# Virender Sehwag

For India to regain Asian Kabaddi Supremacy, the sport likewise needs to increase its talent pool. That is where I believe the IPKL can come in very handy.

The sport of Kabaddi is one of India’s crown jewels. Having originated in this great land, the sport today is gaining in popularity across the globe.
Till recently, India had an iron grip over the Asian Games gold medal in Kabaddi, widely considered the pinnacle of the sport. A proud record of seven straight Men’s gold medals and two Women’s triumphs was rudely disrupted at the Jakarta Asiad last year.
Like all sports loving Indians, I too cringed a little then and told myself at that point, that whatever I could do to get Indian Kabaddi back to the top, I would.
Which is why when the organisers of the Indo-International Premier Kabaddi League (IPKL) approached me for support I readily agreed. I felt they had the right vision and intentions to discover the best talent from each corner of the country and give them a global platform to showcase their skills.
What enthused me further were two aspects of sport that the IPKL had thought of very early in their journey- fans and the players.
The IPKL clearly states that its teams would put a premium on incorporating local talent and would have norms, which would enable fans to have a solid local connect. This being a very natural aspect of global sporting success, in my humble opinion, has been largely ignored by the new maze of sporting leagues, which have emerged all around.
But what really blew my mind was the fact that the IPKL would be distributing a share of its revenue amongst the players.
This will not only give players that extra incentive to produce their best every time, but also sends out a signal that player welfare is top priority.
I strongly believe that in all sports other than cricket in this country, we need more and more big domestic competitions, which are televised live. That helps the selectors have a direct sight into a much larger talent pool, which in turn can help you select the best Indian team.
So many players have made it to the Indian team through the IPL and now through many regional televised T20 competitions also, many new talents are being discovered.
For India to regain Asian Kabaddi Supremacy, the sport likewise needs to increase its talent pool. That is where I believe the IPKL can come in very handy.


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