Ajay Thakur was the star for India in the Kabaddi World Cup final vs Iran. (Photo: Ajay Thakur/Facebook)
Mumbai: Ace raider Ajay Thakur scored 14 points against Iran and scripted an unexpected turnaround to help India win the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. The star, however, is disappointed with the cash reward and recognition that were given to the Indian kabaddi players after their win.
"Firstly, never in my wildest dreams could I think of even lifting the World Cup trophy, and the sport becoming so popular in India. It was an amazing feeling to represent the country in front of a packed crowd, and the stage was perfect. However, it was quite surprising that none of our team members were given any cash prizes by state governments and other organisations," Thakur told Sportskeeda in an interview.
"The entire team was given Rs. 10 lakh by the Sports Ministry, and that is it. If you divide it yourself, you will realise the amount is nominal. I am not saying that we should be showered with gifts. But sporting achievements regardless of the sport should be celebrated."
The comments could be seen in reference to the cash award and recognition bestowed upon India’s Olympics heroes, especially PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik.
Thakur also added, "I’m jubilant that we managed to win the trophy and even happier that the entire country lauded us. But when you see other athletes, such as Olympians and everyone being felicitated, but us getting ignored, it’s a bit demotivating. I will focus mostly on the upcoming Pro Kabaddi League season now. Will take a short three-week break, before starting training again."
India clinched their third consecutive Kabaddi World Cup victory, after completing an amazing 38-29 comeback win over Iran.