London, Jun 24: The 'Kabaddi World Cup' gave Kabaddi a sudden popularity both at the national and international level. Nine international teams, including the US and Britain, competed for a first prize of ten million rupees in the World Cup which was held in Punjab recently.
More than 700,000 spectators gathered to enjoy the tournament and about 200,000 were present at the finals, in which India beat its arch-rivals Pakistan by a huge margin of 58-24.
Indian captain, Mangat Singh Mangi, and Canadian Kuljit Singh were announced as the 'men of the tournament' each received a tractor.
"The world of kabaddi had never seen anything like it. In this part of the country it was a bigger draw than the Indian Premier League," said the Sports Director for Punjab.
"The Commonwealth Games and the Olympics, those are our aims," Ashok Das, vice-president of the federation and a coach for the British army team.
The US, Britain, Spain, Italy, Iran, Australia, India, Canada, and Pakistan were the teams which took part in the tournament, the first of its kind to be recognized by the International Kabaddi Federation.