While we talk often about the decline of traditional sports in the country the Pakistan kabaddi team proved this past Sunday at Lahore’s Punjab Stadium that it is still capable of taking on...
While we talk often about the decline of traditional sports in the country the Pakistan kabaddi team proved this past Sunday at Lahore’s Punjab Stadium that it is still capable of taking on the world and winning. For this credit goes to the Kabaddi Federation which has been working hard to promote and modernize the sport, and of course to the players themselves. In a contest that generated huge excitement within the jam-packed stadium, Pakistan defeated India by 43-41, becoming kabaddi world champions for the first time. The victory and the joy it brought in the audience also showed there is still a great deal of scope in the country for sports other than cricket.
Keeping kabaddi alive also helps keep alive traditions and the culture of sport in rural areas while linking the younger generation to our past they have begun to forget. The presence of so many youths in the audience and their knowledge about the game shows that the sport has not died. People are still keen followers of it with loud applause marking the contest as Pakistan initially fell behind but then used their strength and tactics to overcome their powerful rivals. Till now, India have won most of the six kabaddi world cups held in the past, all of them hosted in India. Pakistan and India had defeated Iran and Australia to reach the final. The tournament was participated in by Canada, the US, Sierra Leone, Kenya and other countries. The eight-day long event featured matches in Lahore, Faisalabad, Kartarpur and Nankana Sahib.
The passion amidst fans grew as the tournament progressed. The final was witnessed by celebrities and politicians who cheered along with the audience. Messages also came in from the prime minister and the COAS. The victory, followed by the mass celebrations by people, demonstrates the significant role that can be played by sport, bringing people together, building within them national pride and also keeping alive a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. It is important we keep it alive. All those who have contributed to this and towards taking kabbadi to international arenas need a loud round of applause and many words of thanks.