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Kabaddi World Cup 2016: Meet the captains and coaches of the 12 teams

12 nations will be facing-off against each other on the global stage of kabaddi.

The captains of the twelve countries pose alongside the World Cup trophy

Get, Set, Raid! The third edition of the Kabaddi World Cup after a hiatus of seven long years will kick off in the city of Ahmedabad tomorrow. The Indian team enters the competition as firm favorites to defend the trophy that they have won on both the previous occasions  in 2007 and 2004. However, it is anticipated that the Iranian team and the men from South Korea will put up a tough challenge for the host nation, not handing over an easy victory.

Here are the captains and coaching pairs of all the 12 participating nations:

India

Captain- Anup Kumar. Well, who could be a better candidate to lead the side, than the "Captain Cool" himself. He has already won the gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games in the capacity of a skipper, also led U Mumba to the Season 3 title in Pro Kabaddi. The toe-touch is his marquee move and can send the rival defenders in a tizzy, and his calm nature in the face of tension, the hallmark of his character.

Coaches- The Indian camp has experienced Balwan Singh, who led the Jaipur Pink Panthers to the runners-up position in Season 4 of Pro Kabaddi, who will combine with E. Bhaskaran, famed for polishing the skills and rectifying the mistakes of players.


Argentina:

Captain- Desoclo S. Elias, will be the skipper for the South American nation where the game of kabaddi has been played since the early 2000s.

Coaches- Ricardo Acuna and Claudio Buezas


Australia:

Captain- Cambell Brown will lead the side that has three Indian origin players with kabaddi playing experience and most of the others hailing from a football background.

Coaches- Navneet Gautam, the former captain of the Jaipur Pink Panthers who led them to the title in the inaugural season of Pro Kabaddi will be the gaffer alongside Srinivas R. Lingampelly who had taken up the arduous challenge of building the national team in the short period of one month.


Bangladesh:

Captain- Md. Arduzzaman Munshi will be the skipper of the nation which has kabaddi as its national game and were the bronze medalists at the last Asian Games held in 2010.

Coaches- The duo of Subimal C. Das and former player Md Ziaur Rahman will coach the India's eastern neighbours in their World Cup stint.


England:

Captain- Indian origin youngster and a pharmacist by profession, Someshwar Kalia will captain the Three Lions. Someshwar seemed pretty confident ahead of the tournament when he was quoted as saying to the Ahmedabad Mirror, “We have formed a good squad. We trained for about three months prior to the World Cup and worked on our strengths. We have a few rugby players in our squad to whom tackling and strength come naturally.” 

Coaches- Another Indian-origin man Ashok Das who is also the founder of the England Kabaddi Association will coach the team alongside rugby player Phoebe A. Schecter.


Iran:

Captain- The lanky all-rounder Meraj Sheykh will be leading a host of Iranian/ Pro Kabaddi stars like Fazel Atrachali, Md. Maghsoudlou amongst others. The skipper seems pretty confident about his side's chances to claim the world title this time around, which will definitely add to the energy and zeal of the players.

Coaches- Former player Kianoush Naderian and Ebad Daliri will guide the Iranian team in their quest to be crowned champions.


Japan:

Captain- 27-year old Masayuki Shimokawa, a former player of U Mumba and now with the Jaipur Pink Panthers will lead his agile Japanese teammates at the World Cup.

Coaches- Kiejun Itoh and Kokei Ito


Kenya:

Captain- David Mosambay's stint with the Pro Kabaddi League side Puneri Paltan side will come in handy when he leads the Kenyan players at Ahmedabad.

Coaches- Atieno O Laventer and Odhiambo O Shadrack have been given the responsibility to upskill the Kenyan teams which feature players like Simon Kibura and Phelix Opana amongst others.


Poland:

Captain- Michal Spiczko, a former player of the Bengaluru Bulls, the Polish captain became so hooked on to the sport that he left behind American football to the pursue it.

Coaches- Harwinder Singh who has his roots in India will combine with Filip Klowskowski, another football athlete from the Warsaw Eagles to coach the Poland team.


South Korea:

Captain- Dong Ju Hong, the all-rounder nicknamed as the "Korea Cheetah" will lead the Asian nation. He was also the skipper of the side when they won the bronze medals at the 2013 Incheon Asian Indoor Games and the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

Coaches- Jae-ho Cho and Hee-Jong Kim


Thailand:

Captain- The 24- year old Tin Phonchoo, an all-rounder from the Dabang Delhi side will lead Thailand's national team at the World Cup.

Coaches-  Panya Athiwat and Nasome Suttirak will be the forces behind-the-scenes for Thailand.


United States Of America:

Captain- Troy Bacon will be the skipper of the US national team at the global championship, where they will against the mighty Iranians in the opening encounter.

Coach- Indian origin Mohinder Sidhu from New York is the gaffer of the American team. 

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