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Newcomers Australia taking rapid strides in kabaddi

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Ahmedabad, Oct 14 (IANS) A superpower in several sports, Australia are relative newcomers to kabaddi, but the southern hemisphere nation is finding the traditional Indian game quite exciting and different from all other disciplines.

Being a nation that loves to compete in any sport, Australian captain Campbell Brown is slowly making a mark at the Kabaddi World Cup, leading a team that has a mixture of players from contact sports such as Australian rules football and rugby.

Despite being newbies to the traditional Indian game, the Australians are in third place in Group A with five points from three matches.

Australia had lost to England and hosts India in their first two matches before overpowering Argentina in their third match.

Despite the somewhat indifferent record, Brown insisted that the team is improving with every match.

"This is a fantastic game. We enjoy played it. Now we understood the technicalities of the game, In this game, while your were at defence, you have to move along with your partners and this is the one thing that you will learn with time," Brown told IANS on Friday.

"We have a new team. This is the sport we haven't played much but when International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) had asked us to play in the World Cup, many people contacted us as there was much similarity between Kabaddi and Rugby. Our support staff has done a commendable job to bring us together," he added.

When asked about the popularity and fame he and his players have got after participating in the Kabaddi World Cup, the skipper said,"From this, we are getting more importance, many people are watching and following the sport. Kabaddi has attracted many people around the globe as well. When we return to our country, many people will surely opt for this game."

Brown also said that there were many Australian players who want to continue playing the sport.

"There might be a triangular series with India in February and we will continue practising for it as many players wanted to continue the sport," he said.

Commenting about the upcoming matches against South Korea and Bangladesh, the skipper said: "These will be tough matches. Unlike the first two matches we had strategised against Argentina which worked in our favour and we will approach the upcoming matches with the same strategy."

--IANS

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