Kho-kho may be the next big thing in Indian sports leagues: Abhishek

Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan at the ISB Leadership Summit-2017 on Indian School of Business campus in Hyderabad on Sunday. 

It has all the ingredients to attract viewers, says actor

Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan predicted that the rural sport, kho-kho, may be the next sport to join the premier leagues being held for cricket, football and kabaddi, as it has all the ingredients to attract viewers.
At the same time, he felt hockey would continue to grow given the power game that it is. Mr. Bachchan was speaking at the Indian School of Business (ISB) Leadership Summit-2017 on ‘Unleashing India’s Sporting Potential’ here on Sunday.

He said sports like kho-kho could be equally popular like kabaddi and it’s more viable given the low investment and operational cost.

He said kabaddi was sustainable today and many teams have started making profits as well. At the 1/20th cost of Cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL), the kabaddi league was enjoying almost similar viewership on television.

He said he was surprised to find that 1,500-odd kabaddi clubs exist only in Greater Mumbai and that was the sport’s popularity. Football, however, may take a few more years to become viable.

Mr. Bachchan said fans were the key to the success of all the leagues and they were at the top of the pyramid. Leagues would have to continuously create strategies to bring them to stadiums or to television. He agreed that celebrities may bring in initial response like they did to kabaddi when his entire family was there to support his team while other superstars backed the sport, but it has to sustain on its strength in the long run.

The numbers were a huge advantage to India for launching more sports leagues and many international companies would be willing to pump in huge funds into these that would serve as springboards to unleash the untapped potential. Sports can also be a huge employer in the future, he felt.

Mr. Bachchan said sports films can help in changing the perception of a game and the success of recent films was an indication. He opined that team sports would have more potential for success than individual sports as people prefer to back teams.

To a question on alleged nepotism in sports, he shot back saying, “You know who I am”, leaving the gathering in splits.
Source-The Hindu

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