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KIYG 2022: MP Kabaddi players cultivate their farms to make a playing field

Jan 30, 2023

Kabaddi players representing Madhya Pradesh in the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2022 have cultivated their own farms to provide a playing field for matches. The majority of the Kabaddi players on the state team are from farming families. The MP Teams have 24 players, both boys and girls, with 20 of them coming from farming families.

The representation of Kabaddi players from farmers’ families suggests that this is a game that is growing in rural areas. Kabaddi is the country’s second most-watched sport, with the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) being the second most-watched sports league after the Indian T20 League in India.

According to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India viewership data, the latest season of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) drew 222 million viewers, 17.5% more than the 2021 season — only seven million shy of the Indian T20 League 2022 (229 million viewers).

The athletes and coach told Free Press, “All the players that are here had to work very hard because there is no government coaching academy in the villages. Nor there is any Sports Authority of India (SAI) Kabaddi centre in MP.”

“Many players play till junior level but they quit Kabaddi after playing senior nationals as they don’t get recognition or rewards,” says the Kabaddi coach.

MP Men’s Kabaddi team for KIYG 2022

Ritik Thackeray, Bhanu Jaat, Anil Gurjar, Prajjwal Patel, Ayush Goud, Akash Rawat, Kumar Gurjar, Sumit Deepankar, Abhishek Jaat, Neeraj Jaat, Vishal Patidar, Abhay Goud

MP Women’s Kabaddi team for KIYG 2022

Mansi Goud, Khushi Tiwari, Jyoti Bhati, Nidhi Kumari, Prachi Patel, Akansha Gamad, Srishti Singh, Lovely Patel, Kashish Rana, Nisha Sahu, Chandni Sen, Tashu Rajput

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