India’s national sport, kabaddi, has genuinely transformed the country’s athletic landscape. The Pro Kabaddi League is now surpassing the Indian Premier League as the most viewed event in the nation, while cricket is still the most popular sport in India.
Owner of the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the Premier League, Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, talked to NDTV about his passion for kabaddi and his initial foray into the sport. Even though Abhishek still loves sports and keeps basketball, football, and cricket dear to his heart, he first became interested in kabaddi thanks to businessman Anand Mahindra.
Abhishek said that Mr. Mahindra had suggested establishing the Pro Kabaddi League in a conversation with NDTV. While Abhishek led his team to comprehend the feasibility of such a league, the information he discovered throughout the study phase astounded him.
The actor said, “About 10,11 years ago, whenever I used to meet Mr. Anand Mahindra socially, we would love to talk about sport. He knows of my love for basketball, football and cricket. In one such meeting, he said I know you are really passionate about sports. I am putting this league together, called the Pro Kabaddi League, would you be interested in joining it?”
The veteran bollywood superstar said, “My first reaction was Kabaddi, wow, nobody was thinking about it at that point in time. I told him let me get back to you. Me and my team did a bit of background research. I played kabaddi as a child, but it was all very casual. Then I saw how modern-day kabaddi was being played. I also went to check out a kabaddi match near my home, it was a local tournament but 10,000 people were watching it. The atmosphere just blew me away. I was wondering why haven’t we put this on the national stage. It ticked all the boxes of the kind of work I wanted to do in sports. I spoke to Mr. Mahindra and said, I am on.”