Not Too Kabaddi For Cruickshank In India
Peebles RFC 1st Team winger Martin Cruikshank turns tries in to an Indian adventure at The Kabaddi World Cup 2012 in Punjab.
Cruicky may have scored 5 tries for the high flying Peebles this year but has turned his searing pace and athelticism to international level in a rather unknown sport to these parts of the world. Some club members may remember the sport from a brief batch of games being televised on a Sunday morning during the 80's on Channel 4. We had a catch up with Cruicky to fill us in on the ins and outs of this fascinating experience.
So when news of making the Scotland Kabaddi team spread amongst the team we thought you were up to some sort of prank! Tell us how this unmissable oppertunity arose?
The opportunity arose through the sports union at Strathclyde University. It was offered mostly to the rugby boys as there is tackling and evasive running in Kabaddi. There were 3 training sessions and then a squad was chosen from that. 15 boys were taken to India in total.
So tell us about Kabaddi?
"In the game of Kabaddi there are raiders, who are the attackers, and stoppers, who are the defenders. I am a raider. The raiders job is to go across the line onto the opponents half and touch one of the opposition stoppers and get back to your own half, thats how a point is won. The raider has 30 seconds to get the touch and come back. There are 4 stoppers and if the raider comes too close they can tackle the raider. Each team takes it in turns to raid in four 10 minute quarters. Each team normally uses around 4 raiders per match If the raider doesnt make it back it is a point for the defence.... sorry its pretty confusing! A Kabaddi pitch is a ring of about 30m in diameter and the surface is hard ground, usually of dirt. The game is played without shoes and socks and without a shirt!
How did Scotland fare in the tournament then?
Scotland had Italy, Pakistan and Sierra Leone in our group, unfortunately we didn't win a watch. We got better and did score more points as the matches went on. First up we got beat by Italy 66-19. 61-21 against Pakistan and then lost 74-24 to Sierra Leone in our final group match so we will not be progressing in the tournament. We have only played Kabaddi for around a month before the tournament and teams have played for years! Some players in the big teams get paid to play so we did really well considering. Most teams also had a very big weight and height advantage on us which counted in this physical sport.
How have you been treated as an International Sport Star in India?
Well 500 million people watched the opening ceremony, it's a massive sport here in India! Thousands of people watch each match, the atmosphere is unbelievable! We even get police escorts to each game and when we walk about there are armed guards with us - its mental!
How have you enjoyed the food?
Well let's just say Immodium has been a life saver!
Eh, think we'll leave it at that!
We are delighted for Cruicky who seems to be having a "ridiculously good time" and hope all our members have enjoyed this wee catch up of a window in to another world away from this freezing weather and cancelled matches. Martin will be home in a weeks time where I'm sure he'll be the center of attention in the changing rooms. And don't worry Cruiks - you've not missed a game yet!