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Kabaddi World Cup set for glittering start
Tribune News Service

Big prize money

  • The men’s team winning the championship will get Rs 2 crore. The first and second runners up will get Rs 1 crore and Rs 51 lakh, respectively
  • The winner women’s team will walk home with Rs 51 lakh. The first and second runners up will get Rs 31 and 21 lakh, respectively
  • For other teams, there will be cash prize of Rs 15 lakh each for taking part in the tourney

Bathinda, November 30
Bollywood star Akshay Kumar and singer Himesh Reshammiya will add glitter to the inaugural ceremony of the 3rd World Cup Kabaddi championship that kicks off at Bathinda tomorrow.

The colourful extravaganza will include a laser beam spectacle and a light and sound show. The fireworks display has been cancelled after the demise of ex-PM IK Gujral. As many as 23 teams, including 7 women squads, are participating in the 14-day championship.

The stadium in Bathinda, with a seating capacity of 20,000, was renovated two years ago. Located in the heart of the town, the facility is expected to witness a huge rush of people.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal flew in from Chandigarh this afternoon to take stock of the arrangements. Education Minister and president of the Kabaddi association, Sikendar Singh Maluka, chief parliamentary secretary Saroop Chand Singla and senior civil and police officers were present at the review meeting.

Sukhbir said a total of 322 kabaddi players from 18 countries will participate in the tournament. These include, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, New Zealand, Turkmenistan, Denmark, Iran Kenya, Malaysia, Argentina, Pakistan, USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Norway and Scotland, besides India. For the first time, two kabaddi teams from Africa are participating in the championship. The players in eight of the teams coming from abroad were of foreign origin and not NRIs.

A total of 41 matches will be played at 13 different places in the state. Sukhbir said the World Olympic Association has sent a letter wishing success for the current championship. “Our aim was to include kabaddi in the Olympics”, he said.

The semi-finals will be held at Bathinda on December 12 followed by the final at Ludhiana on December 15. As a security measure, surveillance cameras have been mounted at all entry points in the stadium.

Chief Minister of Pakistani Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, who played host to Sukhbir during his recent visit to Pakistan, has confirmed his visit to see the final match.

The sports minister of Canada and dignitaries from Iran, Sri Lanka and New Zealand were expected to witness the inaugural ceremony.

Sukhbir said Rs 20 crore would be spent on the championship, of which the prize money of Rs 5.50 crore would be contributed by the Punjab Government. The remaining amount would be raised from sponsors.

To give thrust to sporting activities, the state government has decided to include sports as a compulsory subject in schools in primary classes.

The Deputy CM said the state government was also taking steps to encourage hockey players. “Astro turfs have been laid at six places. Punjab had offered to host national hockey tournaments, but the hockey federation declined our offer,” said Badal.





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