"Sometimes Kabaddi Players Get Paid More Than Me": Abhishek Bachchan On Rise Of Pro Kabaddi League
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan summed up the rise of Pro Kabaddi League which is the second-most-watched sporting event in India, after the Indian Premier League.
- Reported By Rica Roy
- Updated: December 01, 2023 09:13 AM IST
A sport that is India's own, kabaddi has truly revolutionised India as a sporting nation. While cricket remains the most-followed sport in India, the Pro Kabaddi League has emerged as the second-most-watched event in the country, after the Indian Premier League. Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan, the owner of PKL franchise Jaipur Pink Panthers, spoke to NDTV about his love for the kabaddi and how he got into the sport at first. While Abhishek remains a sports fan, who holds basketball, football and cricket close to him, it was industrialist Anand Mahindra who got him into kabaddi.
In a chat with NDTV, Abhishek revealed that Mr. Mahindra floated the idea of starting the Pro Kabaddi League. While Abhishek took his team to understand how viable such a league would be, what he go to know during the period of research, blew him away.
"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?," he 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," he further said.
The rise of Kabaddi hasn't just been in terms of viewership but the salaries of players have also gone up significantly. Even Abhishek admitted that some of the players earn more than him.