Can Kabaddi tournament rebirth kick-start a legacy?
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The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup is coming at us from a vacuum, we may strain to see behind it if it's carrying a legacy but there's virtually none. Ironically for India's oldest sport, one that was either played or watched by all our grandparents and then theirs, there have been just two World Cups till date, in 2004 and 2007.
Next Friday in Ahmedabad will thus be a historic re-birth for the Kabaddi World Cup in the internationally recognized format the Badal government of Punjab has organized five annual 'World Cups' in Ludhiana since 2010 but they have been more like invitational tournaments featuring 'circle style' kabaddi, not recognized by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and its stakes will be many times higher than those in its brief history.
The Pro Kabaddi League also revived rhetoric about kabaddi being included in the Olympics in the future and you might have chanced upon Anup Kumar or a Manjeet Chhillar mentioning this. The closest they have come to seeking glory for India has been at the Asian Games, South Asian Games, Asian Indoor Games and Asian Beach Games.
Whether it will grow into a regular international fixture every two years or earlier is a call the suits will take based on how many of us watch. As for the countdown, we can begin one right away eight days to go.