“It will be a long time before we have clubs like football”

Former Indian captain Ajay Thakur has opened up on how kabaddi players need to manage their jobs and sports career in life. Thakur believes that although the salaries of kabaddi players have increased significantly because of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), the sport still needs time to have established clubs like football.

Pro Kabaddi League takes place for three months in a year. PKL organizers Mashal Sports have increased the purse value for signing players to ₹5 crore per team this year, but some players still have to work another job.

In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Ajay Thakur shared his views on if players can fully focus on kabaddi. He said:

“Even now all of us (players) work other jobs and in the meantime, try to keep ourselves fit by taking out time. It is very challenging. It will be a long time before we have clubs like football. Any player can comfortably play till 40-45 years. All you need for this is consistent practice and rest.”


Thakur played for four different franchises during his legendary Pro Kabaddi League career. He now serves as the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Himachal Pradesh.

“I work a 10 to 5 job and sometimes have to go to work at night” – Ajay Thakur explains how job impacts kabaddi performance

Further explaining how working another job has an impact on the kabaddi practice sessions, Ajay Thakur cited his own example, adding:

“I work a 10 to 5 job and sometimes have to go to work at night. This makes a big difference in performance. Right now players are in great need of jobs and along with kabaddi, attention has to be paid to this as well.

“There will come a time when we will not need it. When we get a 10-year contract from the club, only then the player can only think about kabaddi,” he concluded.


The Pro Kabaddi 2023 Auction will take place on September 8 and 9. It will be interesting to see if any new records are created at the auction after the increase in purse value.

Poll : Will Pawan Sehrawat’s record of 2.26 crore bid be broken at PKL Auction 2023?

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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