Sport has started to return in parts of Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean Islands. The lack of live sports from our everyday lives has been missed more than perhaps most people would have imagined. In India, this journey could be a bit longer. The spread of COVID-19 has been rapid and it appears as if a lot many more people are going to be infected before things get better.
One of the sports that we see making a quick comeback is Kabaddi. There are several advantages that are in-built into the new Pro Kabaddi League format. All of the matches are played indoors and the sport does not really depend on live audiences. It is the TV audience that is hooked onto the thrilling spectacle that Kabaddi provides.
People gamble on the things they love and this is why the growth of Kabaddi betting in the country indicates how far the sport has spread. The new format of Pro Kabaddi saw teams play in different parts of the country but it could easily be held in one or two venues.
Pro Kabaddi League in the time of COVID-19
The Kabaddi mat is the same whether you play in Bihar or Chadigrah or Bengal. The absence of a crowd to watch the matches means there is no home advantage for any team wherever they might play.
Kabaddi squads are pretty large and players can be swapped out if someone does test positive for COVID-19 during the tournament. The matches are also short and sharp, which means the tournament can be conducted over a shorter period of time with multiple matches being played each day.
The rights to conduct the tournament as well as to broadcast it sit with one company. This makes the amount of red-tape that has to be gone through before green-lighting the tournament is minimal.
We have already seen contact sports like UFC return to action with adequate testing of its contestants beforehand. Kabaddi is also a contact sport that requires players to get up close and grapple with each other. If all the players are tested and quarantined beforehand, there is no reason why we could not see a successful PKL tournament in a few weeks from now.