Top 10 Kabaddi Players of All Time

3 March 2021
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Kabaddi

One of the least-known contact sports in the world, but common within South Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, is Kabaddi. To newer audiences, it seems like an adult, updated version of the tag. The constant tackling and ankle catching, the phases of running to and fro are separated by frequent tackles and ankle picks. As people grasp the rules of how the game operates, their comprehension of the game’s difficulty and sophistication will improve.

Two teams of twelve competitors play to see who can receive the most points. The game is played on a court. One guy known as the raider has to go up against seven players called defenders from the opposing side. “Kabaddi,” the raider shouts as he darts through the midline. His aim is to hit as many of his opponents as feasible and then revert back to his side of the field by crossing the midline before being tackled. As long as the raider is able to recross the midline, he wins one point for each player he touches. No points are awarded if he is tackled before recrossing the midline.

Origin

Kabaddi is considered to have its origins in ancient history. Kabaddi was mainly developed in India as a means of improving young men’s physical power and stamina. During its beginnings, Kabaddi was used to strengthen defensive abilities, as well as to increase the pace with which one could respond to an attack. And, most notably, it honed the individual counter-attacks of players who frequently play in groups or squads. There is also a mention of Kabaddi in Hindu mythology. In the classic Indian tale, the Mahabharata, Abhimanyu is put in the “Chakravyuha” trap set by his enemies in the Battle.

Mythological implications of Kabaddi

Kabaddi has traditionally been indicated to have prevailed in the prehistoric era in India by ancient scripts. 

Arjuna had a distinct skill in Kabaddi in the Mahabharata. He had no trouble snaking his way through an enemy party, mowing them down, and getting back before anyone caught him. According to Buddhist writings, Gautam Buddha engaged in sports such as Kabaddi for entertainment. In this case, it can be concluded that he loved playing Kabaddi and used it as a way to show his power, which led to his success in winning brides. It is clear from the ancient records that Kabaddi was highly valued in the past.

The status of Kabaddi in modern India

Kabaddi was officially designated as a game in India in the year 1918. The state of Maharashtra gave the game a national level of importance. Also, in the same year, a set of standard rules for the sport were created. But it wasn’t until around 1923 that they were written. The All India Tournament for Kabaddi was held in Baroda during the same year in which the participants were required to strictly abide by the rules regulating the game. From that point on, Kabaddi has gone through some significant changes. It quickly became popular, and national tournaments began being held throughout the nation. The game became internationally known after it was played at the 1938 Olympic Games, which was held in Calcutta.

Today, the game is receiving much more recognition due to all the media publicity worldwide. The immense popularity of the pro-Kabaddi league proves that Kabaddi as a game can be a profitable business model.BARC reports that the 5th season of the Kabaddi tournament known popularly as the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League crossed 1.6 billion live views, and this makes it India’s most-watched non-cricketing game.

Here we will take a glance at the ten greatest kabaddi players of all time.

Anup Kumar (he has retired now)

Anup Kumar

There is no better person to begin our list than the “God of Kabaddi” himself. Kumar formerly played in the VIVO pro kabaddi league. He was a youngster and merely played the sport to pass the time.

For a long time, he has been regarded as one of the most successful raiders in the game’s history. Before playing for U Mumba for five years, he spent two years with the Jaipur Pink Panthers.

Kumar’s most important contributions to the sport were as a national team captain and gold medal-winning participant at the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games.

Ajay Thakur from Tamil Thalaivas

Ajay Thakur

Next on our list is one of the most prolific raiders in the pro kabaddi league’s history. Puneri Paltan, Tamil Thalaivas as well as Bengaluru Bulls have had him on their teams for years.

At the Asian Kabaddi Championship in 2017, this man called “King of Kabaddi” captained the Indian national team to win gold.

In just over eight months of play, he has earned 800 raider points and has ended up playing in more than 110 games. Thakur is a seasoned professional who epitomises consistency.

Rishank Devadiga from UP Yoddha

"Rishank

He is the most vicious raider the pro kabaddi league has ever seen.

With his all-or-nothing attitude to the game, Devadiga has been a consistent player, both for UP Yoddha and U Mumba over the years, amassing 671 points over seven seasons.

He has amassed 624 raider points and completed 1328 raids, earning him a total of 1,728 raid points.

Pardeep Narwal from Patna Pirates

Pardeep Narwal

If you’re setting out to leave a lasting legacy of Kabaddi, the “Dubki King” is a good privilege.

In the VIVO pro kabaddi season, Narwal is known to be the league’s most potent raider, playing for the Patna Pirates.

The following milestones make him a champion: He was the first player to score 1,000 points and a part of the India national team that took home the gold medal at the South Asian Games in 2019.

Rahul Chaudhari from Tamil Thalaivas

Rahul Chaudhary

While it’s a rare case, deviating from a job as a defender and moving on to become one of the most excellent raiders in the VIVO pro kabaddi league is something that few and fewer people are willing to achieve. This is Rahul Chaudhari’s rise to the top.

Fans affectionately point to this national team member of India who does flair raids.

His well-known running hand-on-shoulder touch has added to his celebrity status in the sport, and only the second player in history has crossed the 1,000 point plateau while retaining an overall average, not out rate of 79.79%.

Naveen Kumar from Dabang Delhi K.C.

Naveen Kumar

Another young player who is raising the level of the game is Naveen Kumar. The highly-rated raider participated in the sixth season of the pro kabaddi league, becoming the first player born in the 21st century to partake in the league. He has a trademark running hand contact that made him the youngest player to reach 300 points in a single tournament and the 2nd youngest player to achieve a Super 10. This hot prospect’s future talent is incredibly thrilling.

Sandeep Narwal from U Mumba

Sandeep Narwal

In analysing Narwal’s kabaddi career, it’s fascinating to note that he began off as a corner defender but gradually developed into one of the best all-rounders in the sport.

People admire his style of aggressive defence, and as a result, he is a valuable player of the Patna Pirates.

His ability to balance his variable speed and agility with his physical power has helped him establish himself as one of the game’s legends.

Fazel Atrachali from U Mumba

Fazel Atrachali

Atrachali, who is from Iran, is the only non-Indian kabaddi player on this list.

Atrachali is not only shattering the mould in the pro kabaddi league as an Iranian but is putting himself apart as the league’s first Iranian captain.

At the 2018 Asian Games, he played a significant role in his country’s gold medal win. Not only did he play a vital role in that victory, but he is also among the best defenders left corners in the sport. With 82 tackle points last season, he was named the Best Defender.

Jang Kun Lee from Patna Pirates

Jang Kun Lee

Jang is a Korean Raider who holds the record for scoring the most points in Pro Kabaddi by an overseas player. He has commanded the Republic of Korea’s Kabaddi team in a number of international competitions. His trademark move is the “Kick,” which means stretching the leg rather than the fist to hit the defender instantly.

Deepak Niwas Hooda from Jaipur Pink Panthers

Deepak Niwas Hooda

Hooda’s mother passed away when he was four years old, and his father died in 2013. He was born in a family of farmers of Chamaria village in the Rohtak district of Haryana.

He is now the captain of the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League and has carved out a niche for being the most precise and balanced all-rounders. He has accrued over 940 points, pulled in 1765 raids, and secured 231 tackles in his career.

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