Deepak Niwas Hooda has been appointed as the captain of the Men’s Kabaddi team for the South Asian Games next month.

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The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) has announced a 12-member squad for the 13th edition of the South Asian Games, which is set to have new faces in both men’s and women’s Kabaddi team. All-rounder Deepak Niwas Hooda will be captaining the men’s contingent, while star raider Pawan Kumar Sehrawat has been named vice-captain.  

The much talked about competition kicks off from December 1, 2019, in Nepal and will witness teams from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives go toe to toe to bring eternal glory to their nations. 

Special consideration has been given to the performances of the players in the recently concluded Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), with youngsters like Pawan Kumar Sehrawat and Naveen Kumar coming into the spotlight.    

Considering India’s impeccable record in the South Asian Games, the team was only announced after a 20-day coaching camp that was held at the SAI NBA in Rohtak after a close assessment of their fitness and durability.

The Indian contingent has been blessed with ruthless and agile raiders like Pardeep Narwal, Pawan, Naveen and Vikas Kandola whose exploits in PKL are nothing short of extraordinary. On the defensive front, Nitesh Kumar and Surender Nada will be guarding the corners and will be assisted by the captain, Deepak and Vishal Bhardwaj in their pursuits.

The Indian men’s team has emerged triumphant nine out of 10 times, winning gold medals from 1985 till 2016, only missing out on the coveted prize at the 1993 South Asian Games in Dhaka. 

Announcement for the women’s Kabaddi team has also ignited a breeze of confidence for yet another medal as the squad is now infused with young blood. Payal Chowdhary, Ritu Negi and Sakshi Kumari, were a part of the silver-medal winning team in 2018 Asian Games and have been called up to the side for the tournament. 

Squads:

Men’s: Deepak Niwas Hooda (c), Pawan Sehrawat (vc), Nitesh Kumar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sunil Kumar, Parvesh Bhainswal, Naveen Kumar, Pardeep Narwal, Amit Hooda, Surender Nada, Vikash Kandola, and Darshan Kadian

Women’s: Priyanka (c), Deepika Henry Joseph (vc), Ritu Kumari, Nisha, Pushpa, Sakshi Kumari, Payel Chowdhary, Ritu Negi, Sonali Vishnu Shingate, Snehal Pardeep Shinde, Mamta Kumari Dhaka, and Harwinder Kaur

Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @DeepakHooda5555