The Indian Sports Ministry announced a 12-member kabaddi squad for the India men’s contingent participating in Asian Games 2023, hosted in China. 

The men’s squad includes star raiders like Naveen Kumar, Pawan Sehrawat and Arjun Deshwal. On the defensive front, the likes of Parvesh Bhainswal, Vishal Bhardwaj and Sunil Kumar are a part of the squad.

The squad doesn’t feature big names like Pardeep Narwal and Deepak Hooda who have been a part of most India kabaddi squads in the recent past.

India’s women’s kabaddi team was also revealed with the likes of Sakshi Kumari, Sonali Vishnu Shingate and Ritu Negi set to feature again in the Asian Games once again having previously been a part of the 2018 Asian Games squad. 

The Asian Games mega-event scheduled for 2022 was shifted to this year owing to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consisting of 40 games, the event will stretch from September 23 to October 8, 2023. 

Kabaddi has been a part of the Asian Games since it was first introduced in the 1990 edition in Beijing, China.

The Indian men’s team has impressively secured seven out of eight gold medals in the history of the Asian Games. However, in the previous edition, they faced a setback in the semi-final against Iran, resulting in a commendable bronze medal finish.

Throughout the span of eight Asian Games, the Indian men's kabaddi team has encountered defeat on only two occasions, both during the Jakarta Asia Games in 2018.

After beating Iran to win the Asian Kabaddi Championship title in June this year, the men’s team will back themselves to claim gold in the upcoming Asian Games. 

India men’s squad for Asian Games 2023

Nitesh Kumar, Parvesh Bhainswal, Sachin, Surjeet Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Arjun Deshwal, Aslam Inamdar, Naveen Kumar, Pawan Sehrawat, Sunil Kumar, Nitin Rawal and Akash Shinde.

India women’s squad for Asian Games 2023

Akshima, Jyoti, Pooja, Pooja, Priyanka, Pushpa, Sakshi Kumari, Ritu Negi, Nidhi Sharma, Sushma Sharma, Snehal Pradeep Shinde and Sonali Vishnu Shingat.

Photo credit: Alamy