The 2nd Asia Kabaddi Cup final ended in anti-climax when Pakistan won its maiden continental title 40-31 after India forfeited in protest at the crowded Punjab Stadium in Lahore.
Pakistan was ahead 39-31 with just 10 minutes remaining, when an Indian raider came for his second continuous attack. This led to an argument after a point was awarded to Pakistan, as according to the rules a raider can only attack once.
The argument forced team officials to step in to keep players from both sides away from each other, while they sorted out the issue. Indian players, however, refused to continue playing, as by that time they had virtually lost all chances to make a comeback.
Pakistan coach Tahir Waheed was ecstatic about the win, but said the final should not have ended in such a manner.
“It’s a great win for us because we always had the upper hand against a better side, thanks to the support we got from the crowd,” Waheed told The Express Tribune.
“We were winning when the argument started and would have achieved [apparent] victory had the Indian team accepted its mistake. Even Indian officials knew their players were technically wrong.”
Waheed said that the World and Asian Kabaddi Federation should come up with strict regulations to ensure that all rules are followed.
He praised the performance of Lala Obaidullah, saying he was a major factor in the triumph.
“Lala always held the key for us and thankfully he performed up to expectations, while the rest of the team also proved their mettle in a crunch situation. We’ve taken revenge against India for our last Asia Cup loss.”
Pakistan received Rs1.5m as the winning prize, while India pocketed Rs1m for being the runner-up. The third spot was grabbed by Iran.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2012.