VIVO Pro Kabaddi is currently one of the top domestic leagues in the country, and it’s no surprise that many actors and sportspersons are queuing up to see these high-octane matches and encourage the gladiators on the mat. On Friday, as the Nagpur leg got underway, model-turned-actor Vidyut Jammwal was the guest of honour who kicked things off by his rendition of the national anthem. In an interview to shortly after, Jammwal professed his liking for the game of kabaddi.  

“I started following VIVO Pro Kabaddi since the second season and make sure I watch the matches or meet the players whenever I can,” the actor said.

Jammwal was also amazed by the incredible growth the league has enjoyed in the last few seasons. “I have seen a lot of progress since Season Two, right from the way things are looking to the way they are organised. Phenomenal is the word,” he said.

The actor is himself a trained martial artist and knows a thing or two about fitness. However, he too lauded the players for their efforts to stay match-ready day in, day out. “Three months (of the league) is not a short time,” he explained, “Even before playing in the league the players have to train for about nine months. It’s not easy to be in superlative form throughout the entire period.”

Jammwal, who considers himself lucky to have played kabaddi in the past, also shed light on some of his favourites from the league. He revealed he has a soft corner for one of the newcomers this season, Tamil Thalaivas. As for his favourite player, the actor chose U Mumba star raider Kashiling Adake. “Kashiling has phenomenal speed, brilliant strength and also a fast-thinking kabaddi brain,” he said in praise of the raider. In fact, given a choice he himself would love to be a kabaddi raider. “I love the attacking aspect of kabaddi so given a choice I would like to be a raider,” revealed the actor.

As kabaddi is a contact sport and requires one to be in peak physical condition before entering the mat, Jammwal was able to draw parallels between the sport and martial arts. “Kabaddi requires a lot of flexibility and agility in order to be an elite athlete. Practising martial arts also helps one develop these aspects along with focus and stamina,” concluded Jammwal.