Pakistan just hosted a fully-fledged international kabaddi league and it was AMAZING! Super Kabaddi League (SKL) began on 2nd of May, 2018 in Lahore and came to an end on 10th May. Sponsered by Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF), the league featured around 10 city-based teams. The teams consisted of both 116 nationals as well as 16 foreign players from Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, Iraq, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Teams participated were:
In Asia, especially Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh and Iran, kabaddi is considered a popular sport. Pakistan has a rich history in terms of sports as, on many occasions, it has not only participated in Asian games, South Asian games, and Kabaddi World Cup but also has won several medals. Kabaddi’s global popularity has grown considerably over the years with the number of Kabaddi playing nations surpassing forty!
The game is played by two groups of seven, spinning around pretty basic skills. A 'raider' enters the other portion of the court to tag or wrestle opponents before returning 'home' while holding his breath and chanting 'Kabaddi, Kabaddi'.
Pakistan has a deep-rooted connection with kabaddi. It is a traditional Punjabi game. SKL is a significant step taken for the revival of this traditional Punjabi game. Not long ago, Kabaddi was extremely popular among citizens and it was enjoyed by people of all ages alike. But it is a sad reality that in years past, due to the increasing popularity of other sports, Kabaddi lost its significance! Still, Pakistan might have the best kabaddi players in the subcontinent. Even though they don’t get much encouragement to do so, people still like to play kabaddi.
The formal opening ceremony of the league took place at Alhamra Cultural Complex on 1st may. Owners of the teams and various notable artists were presented at the ceremony. Several artists displayed their performances and it was a night of joy and entertainment. The unsaid theme of the night was patriotism and the tagline of Season 01 is “Damm Hai Tu Saamnaye Aa” (daring other to compete). During the performances the Super Kabaddi League trophy was also unveiled.
The league began featuring thrilling and exciting matches and in the end Gujrat Warriors, with their untiring spirit and hard work won the title.
Overall, SKL is a great addition in Pakistan sports after PSL, with sponsorship, participation of international players, involvement of personalities like Shahzad Roy who owned one team "Kashmir" as well as live telecast on PTV sports, and attendance in good numbers, such events will not only promote our real game but encourage youngsters to take part in it more and more. The SKL isn’t just a significant step taken for reviving Kabaddi at home but also to promote it abroad!