Playing a sport makes a girl confident: Mithali

Mithali Raj, Indian women’s cricket captain, said: "Sports for girls should be encouraged. Any sport makes a girl confident and more independent. Kabaddi will take some time to catch on, but it is only a matter of time."

Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj singing a national anthem before the start of Pro Kabaddi match at NSCI in Mumbai on Tuesday.   -  Vivek Bendre

Women broke another barrier by stepping on the mat at the ProKabaddi League Season 4 for the inaugural Women’s Kabaddi Challenge at the NSCI on Tuesday.

The contest between Firebirds and Icedivas saw the fans, on a high after watching Puneri Paltan pull off a tie against Dabang Delhi in the men’s match earlier, roar in approval.

Mithali Raj, Indian women’s cricket captain, said: “Sports for girls should be encouraged. Any sport makes a girl confident and more independent. Kabaddi will take some time to catch on, but it is only a matter of time.”

The body-contact nature of kabaddi comes into focus here, with the girls facing the possibility of facial injuries from flayed arms and limbs, and dangerous tackles.

Mithali was given the privilege of singing the national anthem. “We sing the national anthem before every game we play. However, each time I sing, I get goosebumps. Doing it in a stadium filled with kabaddi fans gave me the same feeling,” she said.