Seven time champions and one of this year’s favourites and the host nation, India has finally announced their 14 man squad for the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.
The tournament which takes place from the 7th of October to the 22nd see the Indians open the tournament in the first match against South Korea. It is turning out to be the biggest Kabaddi tournament ever with teams from 12 different countries, one more than last year which have been divided into 2 groups.
Group A consists of India, Bangladesh, South Korea, Australia, England and Argentina. While Group B consists of Iran, USA, Thailand, Japan, Poland and Kenya, who also play their first match on the 7th with USA facing off against Iran.
‘The phenomenal success of Pro Kabaddi and the participation of players from around the world is a testament to kabaddi’s promise as a global sport. We are delighted and proud to have India host 12 countries for the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup,’ Janardan Singh Gehlot, president of IKF said in an interview. India has won all the gold medals since 1990 the year when Kabaddi was made a part of the Asian Games. India has always dominated the Kabaddi World Cup both in the men’s and the women’s category. India has won the World Cup when it first started, in 2004, then again in 2007 and after that it has become an annual event from 2010.
The Indians have a tough group this time around but at the same time also boast a tough and battle tested team. With Anup Kumar leading the charge for the Indians as El Capitan, having already made his mark for U Mumba in the Pro Kabaddi league. He has in Manjeet Chillar a great deputy, who has also been named as the vice-captain for the Indian team and he also happens to be one of the most accomplished all-rounders in the game today.
With Kapil Dev unveiling the team’s jersey, the Indian coach Balwan Singh had a lot to say about his team. ‘The training camps hosted in Ahmedabad involved rigorous training that helped us select the right set of players for the Indian squad. Our aim is to have a balanced team composition for the upcoming World Cup,’ said Balwan. Also unveiled was the logo for the tournament, the famous “Asiatic Lion” which was unveiled by Sports Minister Vijay Goel.
As for broadcasting, Star Sports is the official broadcasting network of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and all the matches will be aired on the Star Sports network channels on TV while live streaming will be on HotStar.
Final 14 man Indian Squad:
Anup Kumar (captain); he is India’s star raider and a captain who leads with example.
Rahul Chaudhary, can play on both sides as a raider. He has been one of the best raiders in every season of PKL.
Deepak Hooda, a talented youngster.
Pardeep Narwal, intelligent raider known for his ‘dubkee’.
Jasvir Singh, comes with loads of experience and is extremely talented at confusing defences.
Ajay Thakur very skilled at countering the lower body tackle.
Mohit Chhillar, one the best defenders on the Right Cover
Surender Nadda, Left Corner.
Surjeet Singh, Right Cover
D Cherathalan, any side.
Kiran Parmar, not just a defender but also a raider.
Manjeet Chillar, best from Left Cover.
Sandeep Narwal, can be put on any side and also a great raider from the left.