Pakistan follows India, announces the launch of Pakistan International Super Kabaddi League
Rana Mohammad Sarwar, secretary-general of the Pakistan Kabaddi Federation, announced on Friday that the first edition of the Pakistan International Super Kabbadi League will be held in March, 2017.
This announcement comes in the light of the fact that recently the International Kabaddi Federation had barred Pakistan from competing at the Kabaddi World Cup held in India in October this year due to the hostile environment and tension amidst the two countries.
Rana Sarwar, who is also the general secretary of the Asian Kabaddi Federation said that it was for the first time in the history of the sport, that a league of global stature was in the offing in the country of Pakistan.
“The PKF is sponsoring the league in which every contesting player would be given Rs. 0.3 million as an incentive,” Sarwar was quoted as saying to the Daily Times. “Players from foreign countries will also be part of the contesting teams. We are working on a plan to have foreign players in the league,” he added.
With more than a hundred players set to participate in the event, teams from Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Quetta will lock horns against each other at the Jinnah Sports Complex in the capital city of Islamabad.
When questioned about the fact that his country was not included in the World Cup organised by neighbours India, Sarwar said the decision was quite shocking. Earlier he was quoted as saying to AFP that, "A Kabaddi World Cup is no World Cup without Pakistan, it is just like a football World Cup without Brazil.”
However, he did mention to the Daily Times, “I was approached by the World Kabaddi Federation to shift the event to Pakistan if we were willing, but we regretted since we needed a huge amount of money to hold the World Cup in Pakistan, which was not possible.”
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly Bannu is a treasure house of kabaddi talent, with a host of skilled players coming from that district. Sarwar credited Pir Barkat Shah, the President of the KP Kabaddi Association for his dedicated effort in uplifting and spreading the sport across the entire province.
“The 2017 National Kabaddi Championship will be organised in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Now it is up to the KP Kabaddi Association to decide where they want to hold it, in Peshawar or outside of it,” said Sarwar.
With a dearth of opportunities for Pakistani players in the lucrative Pro Kabaddi League of India due to the hostilities between the two countries, this announcement will surely boost their morale and confidence, for they will receive increased exposure to playing time as well as international players and their skills.