New Delhi: It is not surprising that the measure of any sport in India with respect to its popularity is gauged based on where it stands when compared to cricket. Anup Kumar is the most popular name in kabaddi. And the India and U Mumba captain feels that kabaddi is on the right track and will soon stand shoulder to shoulder when compared to cricket. Anup has every right to feel confident about his sport considering the level of success of kabaddi at the international as well as the club level.
Talking to DNA on the popularity of cricket and cricketers, Anup said, “Cricket is undoubtedly the biggest sport in India, but I’m starting to see a change now. Ever since the PKL began, our sport has come really far. If you look at any other sport apart from cricket, kabaddi has overtaken them all.”
He further added, “See, I’m not saying kabaddi is as popular as cricket right now, but I’m one hundred per cent sure that it’ll catch up by the time the next four to five seasons of PKL are played. Of course, that does play on my mind. Especially when I see cricketers surrounded by so much security and media. This feeling has reduced ever since the PKL has come up. But before that, since kabaddi wasn’t so popular, it really used to bother me.”
He also added, “Even I represent the country, even I bring medals for the country, even I am the captain of the country in my sport, then why are they the only ones to get so much. No matter where they go, their food, travel, accommodation, security, everything is looked after so well. They aren’t even allowed to stop anywhere for too long. These things used to affect me. But like I said, I’m convinced that in the next four to five years these things will start happening with kabaddi players too.”