Kabaddi Adda

England Players Quit Jobs to Chase Kabaddi World Cup Dreams

Kabaddi, a historic Indian sport recognized for its agility and strategies, is experiencing a rise in popularity in an unlikely place - England. With the Kabaddi World Cup scheduled to be held in England next year (organised by the World Kabaddi Federation), several passionate athletes are taking extraordinary steps to showcase their national team right among the contenders.

These English kabaddi players are a unique bunch. They have day jobs as accountants, tech managers and more, who try to fit in the practice of kabaddi around their other commitments. The game provides little financial support, but their determination shines brightly.

Two players, Felix Li, a former tech manager, and Yuvraj Pandeya, a former accountant, took their spirit to a whole new level. They quit their jobs altogether and moved to India, the birthplace of kabaddi, to train with the best. The gamble paid off as they were signed by Dabang Delhi KC in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), India's prestigious kabaddi league.


However, their initial experience in India was no fairy tale. Li and Pandeya's first global event, the Bangabandhu Cup in Bangladesh, ended with their team losing every match. Again, the loss is dedicated to the lack of training infrastructure back in England. With Li and Pandeya in India, the rest of the team rely on the Kabaddi videos for guidance.

Despite the challenges, there is a sense of optimism. England team showed improvement in the 2023 Bangabandhu Cup compared to the previous year's performance and managed to win two games. In addition, several players find the transition to kabaddi easier because of its similarity to rugby, another popular touch sport in England.

Although Li and Pandeya did not play in any PKL matches, they can be grateful for the priceless experience. They hope that their story will inspire various English players to take training in India, where they can access world-class facilities and coaching.

The upcoming World Cup on English soil offers a golden opportunity. Fueled by their love for kabaddi, this group of passionate individuals is determined to make England a formidable force in the Kabaddi world. Their willpower, despite the challenges of balancing work and training, shows the growing popularity of this ancient game.

Will their gamble pay off and lead England to kabaddi glory? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure - these English athletes are giving it their all for a chance to win the World Cup.