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Pakistan barred, India favourites to win Kabaddi World Cup

Last updated on: October 07, 2016 09:01 IST

Pakistan has been barred from the Kabaddi World Cup in India amid rising tensions between the two countries.


IMAGE: Captains of the competing nations pose at the kickstart of 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Photograph: PTI.

The Kabaddi World Cup is all set to begin, in Ahmedabad, on Friday, with organisers and players of competing countries expressing confidence of taking the game to new heights of popularity across the globe.

Addressing the media, International Kabaddi Federation chief Deoraj Chaturvedi said that 12 out of 32 Kabaddi playing countries will participate in the fortnight-long tournament, which will be concluding on October 22.

"Twelve wonderful teams from five Olympic geographies will clash with each other. Another big milestone is that it will be played at a World Cup facilitated stadium TransStadia, which has come up here in such a short time," he said.

"Kabaddi is our (India's) own game and I am glad that today it is played in 32 countries," he said.

The 12 participating teams are India, USA (rpt USA), England, Australia, Iran, Poland, Thailand, Bangladesh, South Korea, Japan, Argentina, and Kenya.

Twelve teams have been divided into two pools of six teams each with inaugural matches being played between India and South Korea, and United States and Iran.

Speaking about the tournament, India team captain Anup Kumar accepted that there is pressure due to the presence of world's best teams.

"It is a big tournament and all teams are very good, some teams are new and playing with them will be a new experience, and I believe there is pressure. Our only target is to keep the trophy in the country," he said.

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