The 13th edition of the South Asian Games will commence in Nepal from December 1, 2019. The esteemed tournament is expected to go on till December 10 with contingents from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives looking to extend their overall medals tally in the competition.
It is ascertained that India will be taking part in 17 out of 27 games slated to be held in Kathmandu, out of which Kabaddi will be the prime sport where the Indian team will be looking to test their mantle against the Asian teams. India have been the most successful team since the inception of the tournament having won a whopping 1100 gold medals so far.
Considering the South Asian Games, the national camp for Kabaddi is taking place at the SAI NBA in Rohtak and will go on till November 26, 2019. Surprisingly, former Indian Kabaddi captain Ajay Thakur was not included in the list of probables for the competition in Nepal.
Stalwarts like Siddharth Desai, Rohit Kumar and Maninder Singh also missed out as the onus will now lie on the young shoulders of Pawan Kumar Sehrawat and Naveen Kumar who have made their way into the probable’s list of the national team for the first time. Given the egress of Arjuna Award winner, Ajay Thakur, there are a few candidates who can take up the hectic task of captaining the side.
After a resounding season in the recently concluded Pro Kabaddi League, the likes of Pardeep Narwal and Deepak Hooda are tipped to lead the Indian side. Pardeep has been the part of the Indian team since 2016 and was a part of the gold-medal winning side of the 2017 Asian Kabaddi Championship and 2018 Kabaddi Masters Dubai. Given his experience at the international and the domestic stage, Pardeep will be an invaluable contender to lead his team from the front.
The preparations for the South Asian Games are in full swing and the Indian Kabaddi team will leave no stone unturned to bring back nothing less than a gold medal from Nepal.
Feature image courtesy: Star Sports and PKL