Kabaddi is a sport which hasn't yet emerged from the shadows in the beautiful country of Nepal. Even though several efforts have been tried, kabaddi hasn't been able to become a part of the "mainstream" here because of the attraction of other games such as football and cricket.
Nevertheless, an official from the Nepali Kabaddi Team has announced a 12-member men's squad for the upcoming Jakarta Asian Games 2018. Tara Singh Bhat is the head coach and Arvind Jha is the team's manager.
Veteran player Sanjay Shrestha's exclusion from the team has come as a surprise though as he is a former captain of the team.
The likes of Shrestha, Lal Mohar Yadav, Kalyan Bhujel and Jay Bahadur Bohara were a part of the Nepali players' group who were auctioned at the Pro Kabaddi Season 6 auctions. However, only Shrestha, who hails from Janakpur, was signed at the base price of ₹8 lakh by Puneri Paltan, and he'll be looking to leave an impressive mark on India's biggest kabaddi league.
It is only after an enormous gap of 19 years and 8 months that the Nepali kabaddi team will be stepping on a mat once again at the Asian Games. Back in 1990, when the Asian Games commenced in Beijing, China, Nepal were ranked 4th in the points table; this was a time when kabaddi was only played on soil.
In 1994, Nepal finished in 5th position and in 1998, they withdrew mid-way through the Games because of some technical issues. They ended up playing just 4 out of the 6 scheduled matches.
In recent days, however, the Nepali players have lifted their level considerably. They surprised many fans around the world when they won the bronze medal at the 2010 South Asian Games.
Not long ago, at the International Invitational Men's Kabaddi Tournament in 2017, Nepal secured a second place finish that has given a small ray of hope for the popularity of the sport in the country.
Nepal's training camp is held at Mahendranagar, which is located in the Far Western Development Region. The newly appointed captain Mahesh Bohara, and another player Bijay Chand, are a part of the Tribhuvan Army Club which is a departmental army club of Nepal.
The Nepali kabaddi team also comprises of Lal Mohar Yadav and Mahesh Mondal as experienced campaigners. It has a mix of veterans and fresh new talents, thus ensuring that all the bases are covered.
Here is the squad which will be chasing its first ever medal at the upcoming Asian Games 2018.
• Mahesh Bohara (Captain)
• Durga Kumal
• Bijay Chand
• Lal Mohar Yadav
• Nageshwor Tharu
• Bhupendra Chand
• Amit Kunwar
• Sagar Chaudhary
• Mahesh Mondal
• Kumar Lama
• Ashok Thapa Magar