Express & Star

Watch: Running, tagging and tackling as fast growing sport Kabaddi hits the West Midlands - hard

It's set to be a weekend of breathless action as the best Kabaddi players in the country take to the court in the heart of the region.

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The captains, players and members of World Kabaddi and Birmingham Council are all ready for the big weekend

Birmingham is preparing to host the British Kabaddi League Grand Final on May 18 and 19 at Nechells Wellbeing Centre, with large crowds expected to cheer on the eight teams taking part.

Kabaddi originated in India around 5,000 years ago and is now the fastest-growing sport in South Asia, second only to cricket and played in more than 50 other countries, while having gained popularity in the UK through being shown on BBC iPlayer.

The contact sport involves teams of 'raiders' and 'blockers' who must score points by entering opposition’s territory, tagging an opponent and making it back to their half without being tackled to the ground.

Representatives of two of the teams, reigning champions Birmingham Bulls and newcomers Sandwell Kings, were joined by the president of World Kabaddi Ashok Das and Birmingham City Council deputy leader Sharon Thompson to see some of the players in training for the big day.

The British Kabaddi League (BKL), now in its third season, is helping to maximise the legacy benefits from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games by create an economic and sporting legacy for the region.

Councillor Thompson said she was delighted to see the finals being held in Birmingham and was keen to talk about legacy.