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Kabaddi may not be as popular as cricket, but people of Indian-origin follow this game very passionately.
In Australia, at least ten Kabaddi tournaments are played every year which attract thousands of spectators.
Very few Australians know that Australia competed at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup held in India.
The Australian team- consisted of former AFL players and Indian-origin Kabaddi players.
The team had less than one month of preparations at Essendon’s former home base, Windy Hill.
Australia's World Cup campaign saw one win and four defeats.
Their sole win came against Argentina, 68 to 45 points in a high scoring game.
India won the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup with a hard-fought victory over formidable Iran.
Kabaddi is played in various styles and formats, with National Style and Circle Style or Punjab Style Kabaddi being the most famous ones.
Circle style kabaddi is the regional sport of the region of Punjab in India-Pakistan.
It is played on a circular pitch with a line through the middle of the pitch.
There are two teams of 8 players; one on one raid; and no player leaves the field. The raid is played on a 30 sec time basis.
Whenever any player is touched (out), he does not go out of the court, but stays inside, and one point is awarded to the team that touched him. If 2 stoppers attack a player, a foul is declared.
In the other format, a player touched, caught or out of bounds, must remain out until all his team members are out.
The game lasts for 40 minutes with a change in sides after 20 minutes.
As for the game’s history, no one surely knows when it originated.
It was originally meant to develop self defence, in addition to responses to attack, and reflexes of counter attack by individuals, and by groups or teams.
It is a rather simple and inexpensive game, and neither requires a massive playing area, nor any expensive equipment. This explains the popularity of the game in rural India.
Modern Kabaddi is a synthesis of the game played in various forms under different names.
Kabaddi, is surprisingly also the national sport of Bangladesh.
The National Style Kabaddi was introduced as a medal sport at the Beijing Asiad in 1990.
Despite the differences in styles, kabaddi calls for tremendous fitness of body and mind and the ability to concentrate as well as anticipate the opponent’s moves.
The Game demands agility, muscular co-ordination, breath holding capacity, speed, strength, stamina, catching, kicking, as well as quick responses and a great deal of presence of mind.