Indian kabaddi team captain Anup Kumar excluded from probables camp for Asian Championships
In a stunning turn of events, captain of the Indian kabaddi team, Anup Kumar has been dropped from the side ahead of the Asian Championships that are scheduled to take place in Iran from 22nd November.
Anup led the side at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, the team that went on to win the coveted trophy. A year later and the living legend has failed to make it to the list of 35 players who have been called up for the selection camp which is being held in Haryana.
Sources close to Sportskeeda confirmed that Tamil Thalaivas captain Ajay Thakur is among the oldest players who have been called up for the trials. It is not confirmed if the likes of Manjeet Chhillar and Jasvir Singh are among the probables. They too have likely not made the cut.
The selectors are keen to introduce young blood into what was an aging squad. Pardeep Narwal, Prapanjan, Rishank Devadiga and Sachin Tawar have been called up for trials as well.
Out of the 35 probables, only twelve will travel to Iran for the Asian Championships. While dropping Anup comes as a shocker, it is not clear as to why he wasn't called up. U Mumba could not make it to the playoffs this season in the Pro Kabaddi League but he was among the few if not the only one who shined for the Maharashtra outfit.
The final squad will be announced on the 18th of November. India will no doubt head into the tournament as firm favorites. However, the likes of South Korea and Iran could prove to be a tough nut to crack for the Indians.
With no Anup in the squad, it remains to be seen who will captain the side. Ajay Thakur was arguably the best player at the 2016 World Cup for India. He's been there, done that. Hence, Thakur looks like the ideal choice. However, nothing has been confirmed yet.
It will be interesting to see how India line up without their experienced captain. Anup will turn 34 on November 20th. Did he decide to rest and exclude himself from selections or do the selectors believe his time in the national side is up?