Kabaddi is one of India’s sports that has erupted in international popularity, attracting both domestic and foreign players in a short period of time. This is evident by the fact that, for the first time ever, the next Kabaddi World Cup in 2025 will be hosted outside of Asia.
Several personalities in this game have mastered the sport, which is gaining prominence in the cricket-crazed country of India. For those new to the game, those who already love it, and those who want to bet on kabaddi, here is a summary of the greatest players in 2023 to keep an eye on.
Pardeep Narwal, who was born in Haryana’s Sonipat district’s Rindhana village, is widely regarded as the finest Indian kabaddi player in 2023. He is now a member of the Patna Pirates of the Pro Kabaddi League, as well as the Indian National Kabaddi squad.
He is widely regarded as a great player in the league, and he currently holds the league record for most raid points scored. Pardeep Narwal is also noted for becoming the first player in the league to earn 900 points in the league’s seventh season.
Patna Pirates won the league title three years in a row from 2016 to 2017, and Pardeep has a slew of league-raiding high scores. He also received the Best Raider Award twice, in 2017 and 2018.
Rahul Chaudhari, a well-known skilled player from the Jalalpur Choiya village in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district, began playing kabaddi at the age of 13 in 2006. He began his career in Kabaddi as part of the defence, but subsequently transitioned to a raider.
He was a member of the Indian National Kabaddi squad that won gold in the South Asian Games in 2016, earning him the title of “world’s greatest kabaddi player” that year. Rahul spent six seasons with the Telugu Titans before joining the Tamil Thalaivas.
Deepak Hooda is an acclaimed and skilled Indian Kabaddi player who was born in the Rohtak district’s Chamaria Village. He leads the Indian national Kabaddi squad as captain. He was even a member of the squad that won gold in the South Asian Games in 2016. This is a player to watch out for when you wager on kabaddi with 10CRIC.
Deepak Niwas Hooda has demonstrated his Kabaddi abilities throughout the Pro Kabaddi seasons. Hooda is reported to have won gold medals in the 2014 Asian Games, the 2017 Asian Kabaddi Championship, and a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games.
Ajay Thakur is regarded as one of India’s finest raiders. He was born in the village of Dabhota in Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh. Ajay Thakur is a former captain of his National team and one of the world’s top ten kabaddi players.
He was a member of the national squad that won the Kabaddi World Cup in 2016 and he also won a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games. In 2019, the Indian government bestowed upon him the Padma Shri and the Arjuna Award.
Maninder Singh is a skilled Kabaddi player who was born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, and currently plays for the Indian National Kabaddi Team. Maninder Singh is regarded as one of the Pro Kabaddi League’s greatest and quickest raiders.
Maninder Singh is the Bengal Warriors’ Pro Kabaddi League captain and finest kabaddi raider. He presently holds the record as the league’s fastest raider, having scored 500 points in only 56 games. He is noted for his ability to fool opponents and for his calculated manoeuvres that confound defenders.
Kasegaon, Sangli, Maharashtra, is where Kashiling Adake was born. Kashiling started his Kabaddi career in Mumbai when he joined Bharat Petroleum. Then, in 2014, Dabang Delhi chose him and he was picked for the National Squad.
He scored 114 points in the second season, the most of any Raider, earning him the Best Raider Award. Kashiling is a well-known kabaddi player in Maharashtra and also currently holds the most points scored in a single Kabaddi League match record.
Indian kabaddi player Pawan Kumar Sehrawat competes for Indian Railways in the national tournament as well as Tamil Thalaivas in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi league. The league’s most expensive player, Pawan, was selected by Tamil Thalaivas for a record 2.26 crores.
The best raider in seasons 6, 7, and 8 is him. With his incredible raiding ability, Pawan Sehrawat helped the Bengaluru Bulls club win the league championship. After earning the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award in season 6, he collected 346 raiding points in season 7. At the South Asian Games, where India won gold, Pawan also came in first among raiders.
Indian kabaddi player Naveen Kumar competes for Dabang Delhi KC and the Indian national kabaddi squad in the Pro Kabaddi League. At Haryana’s Sultanpur, Naveen was born. Fans and professionals have praised Naveen for his quickness and dependability on the court.
He is one of India’s newest and brightest stars. In addition, Naveen is renowned for his amazing agility when executing running hand touches. In 2018, Naveen made his Pro Kabaddi League debut for the team Dabang Delhi in Season 6.
Iranian kabaddi player Fazel Atrachali presently serves as captain of both the Iran National kabaddi team and Puneri Paltan in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League. Iranian kabaddi standout Fazel is regarded as one of the league’s top defenders.
Throughout the Pro Kabaddi League’s history, he is presently the only non-Indian to have scored among the top 10 tackle points in the league’s annals. He won back-to-back league championships with Patna Pirates in 2016 and U Mumba in 2015. The Iranian hero also took home the gold in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
He is renowned for his strong blocks and miraculous ankle holds. In 2016 and 2019, Fazel was honoured with two league Best Defender honours.
Kabaddi is one of India’s most popular sports. As a result, many Indians have excelled in the game, winning several championships and amassing fortunes as professional players. A few other Asian countries also produce some of the top kabaddi players.
However, as the game expands globally, we may expect more elite contestants from other countries to join their ranks. This is because Kabaddi is now becoming an international sport.