Latham also saw a similarity between kabaddi and rugby — the most popular sport in New Zealand with the All Blacks players enjoying cult status back home.
India are the pioneers of kabaddi, with the men’s team winning seven of the eight gold medals in Asian Games history, while the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) has become one of the most popular franchise-based leagues in the country, attracting talented players from across the world.
Boult backed teammates Mitchell and Southee to try their hand in the sport, saying the duo is strongly built for the rigours of a tough sport like kabaddi.
“I’ve watched it a couple of times. I think you need strong legs for the sport. I would put up Daryl Mitchell and Tim Southee’s names for this game.”
During their time in India for the World Cup, where they lost to the Rohit Sharma-led hosts in the semifinals, Boult, Santner and Latham showed interest when they were shown PKL highlights.
“It looks like a pretty physical game. It looks similar to rugby, with guys teaming up to stop one guy getting across the line. I would nominate Glenn Phillips for this sport. He’s a powerful pocket rocket,” said Latham.
All-rounder Santner too backed Phillips to play kabaddi for his agility.
“I’ve probably got the squirminess for the sport, but not the strength. You need to be agile and strong for kabaddi. Lockie Ferguson might play well. He has a strong core and big legs.”