Glory amidst dirt, hurt and cheers

Over sixty matches were played out during the four-day Mayor’s Cup Kabaddi tournament in the city. Though Bengaluru's teams failed to lift the cup, thousands turned up to cheer them.

Unmindful of the clock nearing midnight, or the on-going IPL, thousands turned up to watch the All India ‘A’ Grade Mayor Cup – 2011 Kabaddi Tournament at the Durga Parmeshwari Grounds in JP Nagar. The atmosphere was charged up and the excitement palpable as home team Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) battled Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), New Delhi, in the finals on Sunday, 10th April.

HAL and ONGC had earlier beaten BSF and BPCL respectively in the semi-final matches to set the stage for a title clash. The home team arrived on the field amidst loud cheer from the spectators. Clearly the underdogs of the night, they were pitted against the much experienced ONGC.

Manpreet Singh (in orange) of ONGC at the final against HAL. Pic: Yograj S Mudalgi

HAL got off to a brilliant start as they successfully blocked the towering Manpreet Singh in the first minute.  As the crowd erupted in a deafening roar they quickly amassed three more points through a strong offence. However, ONGC quickly fought back as the raiders were able to break HAL’s defences successfully and by half time they had scored 22 points while HAL remained at four.

Manpreet, who had stumbled in the first few minutes of the game, dominated HAL for the rest of it. Star raider of  HAL, Gopalappa who had taken HAL to the finals with stellar performances in quarter-finals and semi-finals failed to strike. The crowd fell silent as HAL failed to come up with any surprises and could only score three points in the second half. They were defeated 24 – 7.

A KSP player (in white) ‘raiding’ during the final match against SCR. Pic: Yograj S Mudalgi

The women’s final match too witnessed similar action as the Karnataka State Police (KSP), Bangalore fought against South Central Railway (SCR), Hyderabad. Like a Dhoni-Afridi rivalry, the game had its own share of personal contests. When the scores were 8-7 in favour of KSP, Mamatha Poojary, captain of SCR swung in to action and with some good raids, rallied the team to 24 points. KSP’s captain Jayanthi led a strong fight back taking the score to 20 but at the end of the second half time the score remained 24 – 20. It was another loss for the home crowd.

A SCR player is tended to by a doctor after hitting her head against the ground during a tackle. Pic: Yograj S Mudalgi

22 men’s and 16 women’s Kabaddi teams from across the nation converged for the Mayor’s Cup 2011. The tournament was last hosted in 1996. S K Natraj, the current Mayor of Bangalore and Kabaddi fan initiated the revival of this tournament. Organised by the BBMP, fans saw over 60 matches played from 6th to 10th April. Nataraj represents Sarakki ward (JP Nagar) in the BBMP.

UP police defend against HAL, in the league match. Pic: Yograj S Mudalgi.

Durga Parmeshwari Ground is located at 2nd Phase JP Nagar, opposite R V Dental College.



State Bank of Mysore
Vijaya Bank
Hoody Sports Club
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Rail Wheel Factory
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
Karnataka State Police, Bangalore


Karnataka State Police
Vijayanagar Sports Club



Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, New Delhi
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mumbai
Integral Coach Factory, Chennai
Uttar Pradesh Police
EME, Bhopal
Maharashtra Police, Mumbai
Border Security Force, New Delhi
Indian Navy, Mumbai
Dena Bank, Mumbai
Kabaddi Star, Chennai
Municipal Corporation, Mumbai
South East Central Railway, Nagpur


South Central Railway, Hyderabad
Mumbai District
Suvarnayug, Pune
ALVAS, Mangalore
South Canara, District Mangalore
Palam Sports Club, Delhi
Dena Bank, Mumbai
Municipal Corporation, Mumbai
Baba Haridas, Haryana
Amman Sports Club, Tamil Nadu
Chandan Nagar, Kolkata,
Coimbatore District
Shivashakthi, Ratnagiri

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