One of the greatest facets about VIVO Pro Kabaddi ever since its inception, besides the platform it offers players to showcase their talent, is that it brings together talents from across the globe to compete in the sport’s grandest stage. More players and countries than ever before are standing up and taking notice of the game with a keen eye. Last year’s Kabaddi World Cup is a testament to the growing popularity of the ancient Indian sport around the world. This season has seen more foreign recruits than any other with players from Korea, Iran, Bangladesh and Kenya, all part of the league. With that in mind, recently sat down with Haryana Steelers all-rounder David Mosambayi. The Kenyan spoke about an array of things, including his journey to kabaddi’s biggest stage. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Tell us how kabaddi started for you.

I was a footballer before coming to kabaddi. Then my friend introduced me to kabaddi and at that time I didn’t know anything about kabaddi. In Kenya, sports like rugby and soccer are popular and it was a new game for me. So I decided to switch.

Please shed some light on your journey in Pro Kabaddi.

It’s been good. Last year I was in Pune, and things have been good so far this season. I am looking forward to every country playing kabaddi and I think that it will eventually become popular like soccer.

What do you find interesting in kabaddi?

Being an African we like hard tackles, hard things in the sport. Personally, I like how the sport is played. Many people cannot understand the sport but if people who follow the game help you understand, then it’s a great sport to play.

How is the kabaddi scene in Kenya?

It is not as popular in Kenya as it is in India. There are teams over there and we are trying to get the support of the government and the people of Kenya.

Do you prefer raiding or defending?

I’m an all-rounder. If you get points through raiding it adds to the team’s score and it’s the same in the defence as well. So both are fine with me.

Do people recognise you in Kenya as a kabaddi player?

Yes, some people recognise me. I think after the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup most of the television channels and radios were showing our games. So we were going on shows and we were telling people about the sport and how it is played.

What do you do in your free time?

I play the other sports as well in my free time and I get to know the other players and get to learn about their sport as well.

Do you nurture hopes of representing Kenya if kabaddi is included in the Olympics?

Yes, we are looking forward to many countries joining and playing this sport because it is a great sport to play.