New Delhi, Nov 3: Acknowledging their World Cup winning feat, the Sports Ministry today announced a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh each for the members of the Indian Kabaddi team, led by Anup Kumar.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel made the announcement at a felicitation function organised at his residence and also said they will strive to make Kabaddi an Olympic discipline. India had defeated Iran 38-29 in the summit clash to take its third World crown.
"All players will get Rs 10 lakh each and the coach will also be awarded. We will also strive that this game of ours is there in Olympics. It's not just about cricket, we want football, hockey and other games to be promoted," Goel said.
India captain Anup said the standards of the foreign players has improved after playing in Kabaddi Leagues in India and that has made the job tough for them.
"Competition is tough out there but advantage that we have is that it's our rural game, we have played it since childhood and they have started playing it only recently," Anup said.
The captain also said more the international teams are in World Cup, the better it would be for the campaign to have this game in Olympics. Man-of the-tournament Ajay Thakur said it's only a myth that Indian team faces no competition.
"We were trailing in the final. The competition is getting tough. They come here and learn," Ajay said.
The minister also said the preparations for next Olympic Games in 2020 and 2024 and 2028 have to start now.
"We want to pick and train talented kids from the age of eight years. We are asking people to upload the CVs and videos of kids on a sports portal. The local SAI centres will decide which kids can be supported for world class training," Goel said.
Officials from broadcaster Star Sports, the main sponsors of the Kabaddi World Cup, were also present on the occasion.