Vijayawada: Kabaddi, the 'desi' game in which India has made a mark at the international level, needs better infrastructure such as synthetic grounds to flourish in the country, players feel.

Players feel that Iran is emerging as a serious competitor at the international level.

Some top Kabaddi players of the country have gathered here to play in the 'Kabaddi Premier League Championship -2011' (KPL).

Abroad, Kabaddi is always played on synthetic ground, while in India it is still played on bare earth, said BC Ramesh, an Arjun awardee.

In addition, he said, there should be dedicated sports hostels.

Saying that Kabaddi players have a lot of employment opportunities in public sector and the government under the sports quota, he said that younger generation should be encouraged to take up the sport.

Another Arjun awardee, Dinesh Kumar, said, "We have to improve our standard to face the challenges from Iran in the international tournaments."

Manpreet Singh, who has played at the international level, said that KPL has given a new lease of life to Kabaddi.

(Agencies)