KARACHI: Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka 56-23 on the second day of the 3rd Asia Circle Style Kabaddi Cup 2016 at the Pakistan Ordinance Factory Sports Complex in Wah.
In other results, India outplayed Afghanistan 48-20 in their second match of the tournament, whereas Iran thrashed Nepal 31-14 in the third match of the day.
Pakistan Kabaddi Federation and Asian Kabaddi Federation secretary Muhammad Sarwar said the crowds and the response to the event has been overwhelming.
“The event is being covered on television every day, and that is big for kabaddi as a sport,” Sarwar told The Express Tribune. “It’s great that in Pakistan, kabaddi is getting air time, which is crucial for the growth of the game.”
Sarwar claimed that the success of the event has attracted attention from outside Pakistan too. “We’ve received positive response from the international community, because the general perception is that Pakistan is far from a good venue to host sports events. I hope we are changing that mindset.”
He admitted that while keeping the matches in the evening was a tricky decision, the strategy has worked in favour of the players. “People in Islamabad and Rawalpindi are at work during daytime, so we took the step of holding matches at later hours,” said Sarwar. “It’s also working for us, because the weather is better in the evenings, so the players don’t get exhausted too quickly.”
He said that of the six participating teams, India and Pakistan are leading the points table at the moment.
Sarwar explained that the league format was essential since there were only six teams in the competition.
“If we had eight teams, we would’ve made two groups,” said the official. “Still, each team is playing five matches, so everyone is happy with the draws.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2016.