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66th Senior National Kabaddi Championship: Equal split of strong teams paves way for an exciting tournament on the cards

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1.40K   //    28 Jan 2019, 18:34 IST

Girish Ernak-led Maharashtra are the defending champions
Girish Ernak-led Maharashtra are the defending champions

What's the story?

The 66th edition of the Senior National Men's Kabaddi Championships is set to commence on the 28th of January 2019 at the D.G Tatkare Krida Nagri, Mhada Society Ground, Roha Tensil, Raigad district Maharashtra.

The draw for the tournament, which features 30 teams with the Manipur State Kabaddi Association dropping out in the last minute, will see the teams in contention divided into eight groups.

In case you didn't know

The Maharashtra kabaddi team is the defending champion of the competition having beaten Services last season and with the hosts stacked up with an array of superstars, they could prove to be the team to watch out for yet again.

Heart of the Matter

Supported by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), the 66th edition of the local tournament will feature some big names such as Pawan Sehrawat, Rahul Chaudhari, Monu Goyat featuring for their state-based team or employees such as India Railways, Services etc.

While the teams look to be split equally across the eight teams, the Indian Railways team would start as favorites to clinch the trophy with the likes of Pawan Sehrawat, the cover duo of Parvesh Bhainswal and Sunil Kumar.

Services too boast of a solid squad with skipper Monu Goyat looking to impress after a season of mixed results in the Pro Kabaddi League while the Haryana team is decked with a host of superstars such as Pardeep Narwal and will be buoyed by the return of skipper Surender Nada from an injury.

One of the most experienced teams in the competition is Karnataka, which houses some of the most experienced names such as Jeeva Kumar, Sukesh Hegde and will be led by the versatile and impressive Prashant Kumar Rai. Rahul Chaudhari will be hoping to erase his poor form from the Pro Kabaddi League and form a potent partnership with Nitin Tomar, who will be returning from a long setback due to injury and will feature for Uttar Pradesh.

Here are the groups for the competition.

Group A - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Vidarbha.

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Group B - Services, Delhi, Chandigarh.

Group C - Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, BSNL.

Group D - Haryana, Bihar, West Bengal, Chattisgarh.

Group E - Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab.

Group F - Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Assam.

Group G - Indian Railways, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha.

Group H - Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tripura, Jharkhand.

What's Next?

In an approach to discover the best of talent across the country, the Senior Nationals certainly present a platform for the ones who did not get a chance to feature in the PKL to showcase their talent and in addition to which, use the opportunity to rub shoulders with the PKL stars and learn a lot as well.

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