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December 12, 2019

India among ten nations finalised for Kabaddi World Cup in Pakistan

Sports

December 12, 2019

KARACHI: As many as ten nations, including India, will feature in the Kabaddi World Cup (circle style) to be hosted by Pakistan from January 12-19 at three different venues.

“We received entries from around 18 nations but we have finalised ten on the basis of rankings,” Pakistan Kabaddi Federation’s (PKF) secretary Mohammad Sarwar told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

This is the first time that Pakistan will be hosting the world showpiece. “India is also there,” the official said. “The others are Canada, the United States, Australia, England, Iran, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan,” he said. “Others who sent entries included Norway, Germany, Uganda and Argentina,” Sarwar was quick to add.

Pakistan and India are considered the world’s top kabaddi nations (circle style). If India, the top seeds, compete in the event it will put a lot of life in it. The event will be conducted at Lahore, Faisalabad and Nankana Sahib.

“Arrangements have almost been completed and visa process has also started,” said Sarwar, also secretary of Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF). “The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at Lahore’s Punjab Stadium,” he said.

The ten nations will be bracketed in two groups with the leading two sides from each pool qualifying for the semi-finals, according to Sarwar. He said that Creative Sports Agency is their partner for the competitions.

“If any nation is unable to come for some reasons then the nation which follows in ranking will be considered,” he said. He said that as per rules four- or five-star accommodation would be provided to the competing teams.

“It is a resource-intensive exercise and we need a huge budget,” said Sarwar, also a former Pakistan captain. The winners will take away a purse of Rs10 million and the runners-up Rs7.5 million. The third position holders will get Rs5million.

Sarwar expects Pakistan and India to play the final. “If India compete, certainly we both nations can qualify for the final,” Sarwar said. Pakistan boys have been practising at the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad, since December 2.

“We have invited 26 players for the camp as we will have to finalise a 14-member team. However, if any player feels that he deserves then he can report and he will be tested. It’s open for everyone,” Sarwar said.

“Coaches Fayyaz Ali, Tahir Waheed and Shehzad Hanif are supervising the camp. A physio is also there,” said Sarwar, who remained Pakistan captain for a decade. He himself also gives instructions to the players. “Yes, I also guide the players whenever I go to the camp,” he said.When asked why Karachi was not given any game, Sarwar said it would have added to the financial burden.

“At this time it is very difficult to consider Karachi as district-wise visas are given to the competing teams. In future we will surely hold national and other major events in Karachi and we will be hoping a strong support from the Sindh government,” Sarwar said.

To a query about the pathetic showing of Pakistan team in the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal, Sarwar said the team got just four to five days of combined training. “You know due to National Games our team did not get combined training. Had we had two weeks to train, we could have lived up to the billing,” Sarwar said. Pakistan were upset by Sri Lanka and also lost to India, eventually settling with a bronze medal.