Cricket is huge in India. It is considered their national sport and it’s played by most schoolchildren. They are also incredibly good at it, with a national team that dominates international cricket and a franchise league that is considered to be one of the best in the world.
But cricket wasn’t invented in India, and it’s not as definitively Indian as another major sport: Kabaddi. This sport isn’t very well known around the world, but its popularity is rising and in this article we’ll argue for the reasons why it should become their national sport.
4. The Game Would Grow
The more Indians that follow Kabaddi, the more popular it will become on the whole. If millions more take up the game on the Indian subcontinent, then the game will spread with great haste around the world. It only makes sense when you consider that based on total number of spectators, cricket is the second biggest sport in the world and most of that is down to India’s love of the game.
3. There is a Lot of Money
Cricket has never been able to crack the United States, or many European nations, but Kabaddi could. Contact sports that require speed, skill and strength spread quickly and become bigger and richer (rugby is a great example of this, but extreme sports fit the same mold). And if it breaks the US and other major countries, then it becomes considerably more profitable on the whole.
This then has a knock-on effect that sees the world of Kabaddi betting go through the roof, after which you have a situation where the homegrown leagues can generate millions in sponsorship and everyone from Kabaddi journalists to Kabaddi tipping specialists can earn their share.
2. India can be World Champions
There are a few other countries that play this sport, but India are dominant. They have the structure in place to maintain that dominance as well, and if it continues to spread, with a global championship, a place at the Olympics, etc., then India will finally earn their share of the sporting spoils outside of cricket.
1. Easy to Adapt
The US is a rich country that can afford to train its athletes, but one of the overlooked reasons why it succeeds on the global stage is because those athletes always start out learning basics. They do athletics to build their power, speed and agility, and from there they can slip into one of a number of sports.
It’s a similar story elsewhere. Someone who becomes quick and agile playing soccer can also move into rugby, American football and countless other sports. This is not the case with cricket. The game is unique, and it’s very rare to see a cricketer move into another sport at a professional level. Sure, Freddy Flintoff became a boxer for a stint as part of a glorified marketing campaign, but that’s it. Elsewhere you have basketball players turning to baseball, athletic stars turning to soccer, rugby players turning to American football, and more.
Kabaddi fits this mold perfectly, much better than cricket. It is a sport that can serve as a springboard for many others because the fundamentals of Kabaddi are also the fundamentals of rugby, American football, Aussie Rules, and more. In other words, not only can it help India to dominate at another major sport, but if kids in India grow up playing Kabaddi instead of cricket, then there’s a chance that they can spread their wings and fly the Indian flag in many other competitions.