By Ashok Kumar Shaw
Not getting support from family members to play kabaddi due to injuries concern is almost every second kabaddi player’s story in India. But leaving cricket, which is the most popular sports in India, to pursue kabaddi is something out of the blue and unexpected.
Telugu Titans all-rounder Ravit Kumar did something similar. For him, choosing kabaddi over cricket came quite easy. “If I still have been playing cricket, I would not have gone anywhere,” recollects Ravit.
“I use to play cricket very well. But I was stuck in local games. I never used to get the chance to go out in some other bigger places and play. Players who had contacts were able to advance, and good players were left behind. So, then I focussed on kabaddi and forgot about cricket,” explains Ravit who belongs to Haridwar district in Uttarakhand.
He got so interested in kabaddi that even his family members’ scoldings failed to stop him from pursuing his passion. “When friends use to call me to play kabaddi, family did not use to allow me as they feared I will get injured and all. And we used to get hurt a lot. There was no support from family. I used to get a lot of scolding. But as I kept on playing kabaddi, my game improved. There was not much craze in my village. I use to go to another village, 15 kms away, to play. Then slowly, I started getting support. Later, they started supporting me whole-heartedly,” says Ravit.
So, what’s the situation at the moment? Ravit says, “Earlier in my village, they used to say we are good for nothing people, we just play kabaddi only. But now every family, the entire village and the whole district support us. They feel very happy to see us play kabaddi.”
And does he still plays cricket? “Yes, I do. I still play cricket tournament in my village.”