KARACHI: Former Pakistan kabaddi skipper Musharraf Janjua rued the cancellation of the Kabaddi World Cup scheduled to be held in India next month, stating that it was a big blow to the organisers and players who were in the midst of preparations.
India’s Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal made it official on Tuesday that the mega event has been called off for an indefinite period.
Musharraf said that the Pakistan team had been training hard for the competition to showcase their skills to the rest of the world.
“The World Cup means a lot to the players so it’s cancellation has certainly dented our hopes to vie for the title which we couldn’t win last year,” Musharraf told The Express Tribune.
“Obviously, it isn’t good for India either because sporting events bring people closer. It’s unfortunate that the countries are not playing at the top level because a Pakistan-India contest means a lot to athletes and fans alike.”
Musharraf, who led Pakistan to the Asian title in 2012, added that the focus will now shift to the South Asian Games, also to be staged by India at the beginning of next year.
Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) secretary Mohammad Sarwar said he has not received any official e-mail from the organisers so far and nor has he been told about the cancellation by Pakistan’s Punjab Sports Board.
Meanwhile, Badal said the sixth edition of the tournament was cancelled as a mark of grief over the recent incidents of sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.
“Kabaddi symbolises the spirit of the Punjabis and their quest for excellence in rural sports. At a time when the entire Sikh community is shell-shocked with grief at the ghastly manner in which Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji has been desecrated, holding such a tournament is not appropriate,” Badal was quoted by Zee News.
“My feelings too have been hurt and my conscience is not allowing me to preside over a tournament at a time when the Sikh community in India and all over the world is in grief over the ghastly acts of sacrilege.”
Torn pages of a Sikh religious scripture were on Sunday found in Ghwaddi village of the district after which a heavy police contingent was summoned to avert any untoward incident.
The state has witnessed a spate of protests last week over alleged desecration of Sikh holy books and two persons lost their lives in police action, prompting Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to appeal for calm to assuage the community.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2015.