The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) has announced the final 14-member Indian men’s kabaddi squad for the upcoming 11th Asian Kabaddi Championship 2023.
The event is scheduled to be held in Busan, South Korea, from June 27th to 30th, 2023.
The most successful raider of the Pro Kabaddi League, Pardeep Narwal and former India captain, Deepak Niwas Hooda, failed to make the cut in the national team.
Arjun Deshwal, MVP of PKL 9, is set to make his debut in the Indian colours as he will be carrying the offence for the side alongside Naveen Kumar.
The Asian Kabaddi Championship will also witness the return of Pawan Sehrawat, who will be back in action for the first time since October 2022 after suffering an injury.
The raiding unit will also feature the duo of Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat, as well as Patna Pirates’ do-or-die specialist Sachin.
Veteran defender Surjeet Singh alongside Sunil Kumar and Nitish Kumar will lead the Indian contingent’s defence in the tournament.
The trials to select the team for the Asian Championships took place at the Patliputra Sports Complex in Patna, Bihar, last week.
Surender Gill, Surender Nada, Girish Maruti Ernak, Siddharth Desai, Maninder Singh, Ravinder Pahal and Mahender Singh were some of the notable names who did not make the Indian squad.
Sanjeev Baliyan, the coach of the PKL 9 champions Jaipur Pink Panthers, and current Tamil Thalaivas coach Ashan Kumar have been named head coaches. Former national coach Edacherry Bhaskaran has been appointed as manager.
The Indian men’s kabaddi team is the most successful side in the Asian Kabaddi Championships, winning seven gold medals in the last eight editions. The last edition was held in Gorgan, Iran, in 2017, where India beat Pakistan in the Final 36-22 to win the championship.
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