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February 17, 2020

Pakistan win maiden world kabaddi title

Sports

February 17, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan on Sunday created history when they beat arch-rivals India 43-41 in the gripping final of the World Cup Kabaddi (circle) style) at the Punjab Stadium Lahore.

This is the first world title for Pakistan. The previous six editions of the global event had been won by India at their own backyard. The title clash turned out to be an absorbing one as the two sides offered tough resistance to each other in front of a thick crowd.

India, who are highly skilled in circle style, were off to a flying start, as they put pressure on the hosts in the inital few minutes. Pakistan's defence looked fragile as India maintained lead in the whole first half which they won 24-18.

However, the second half was different as both teams fought hard for every point. At one stage the game was evenly poised at 33-33 and 34-34, but the Green-shirts, under the captaincy of Mohammad Irfan Mana took 35-34 lead for the first time in the game. After that the hosts maintained the lead till sealing a narrow win after a hard-fought battle which was also witnessed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Wasim Khan.

Several reviews were taken in the second session on some controversial points. At one stage, two Indian officials ran on to the pitch to protest. However, they were advised to leave the pitch which they did quickly.

Skipper Irfan Mana, Musharraf Janjua, Akmal Dogar, Shafiq Chishti, Waqas Butt and Malik Banyamin played a key role in Pakistan's close victory. Earlier, Iran downed Australia 54-33 in the third-place play-off to claim bronze medal. At half time, Iran were leading 30-16.

Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar was the chief guest who gave away trophies, medals and awards to the leading teams and players. Pakistan, the winners, were handed over Rs10 million, with the runners-up India, taking Rs7.5 million. Iran received Rs5 million.

Sierra Leone, Germany, Canada, England and Azerbaijan also took part in the week-long event during which matches were played in Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujrat. The event was jointly organised by Sports Board Punjab and Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF). PKF secretary Sarwar said the victory would help pakistan in future international events. “The boys have made us proud,” he added. Indian team's official status became controversial when India's Olympic association and sports ministry disowned it a few days ago.