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India and Pakistan to face off in a friendly kabaddi match at Kartarpur

With kabaddi season restarting, India and Pakistan have booked themselves a date for an International friendly in Kartarpur, in March 2022.

India vs Pakistan during the 2020 Kabaddi World Cup Finals

India vs Pakistan during the 2020 Kabaddi World Cup Finals (Source: AAP)


Sohinee Basu

Updated: 6 Nov 2021 7:20 AM GMT

Booking themselves a date on the kabaddi mat, the Indian and Pakistani kabaddi teams are scheduled to clash in an International friendly match in March 2022, in the run-up to the four-nation Kabaddi Tournament due to be held in the month of April 2022, at Lahore. With the premises of the Kartarpur Corridor chosen to be the venue for this historic International clash between India and Pakistan - both Federations have given the green signal for the kabaddi match to be held, which will see the players traveling from both sides of the border to the visa-free zone of Kartarpur, close to the India-Pakistan border.

Speaking to The News, the Secretary of Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF), Rana Mohammad Sarwar relayed, "We are set to make history as both Pakistan and India have agreed to play the international match within the Kartarpur Corridor. Both the federations have agreed that the teams would travel from either side of the border to play international friendly. Both the teams would return back to their respective countries at the end of the match."

Earlier, the Indian kabaddi team had traveled to Lahore for the 2020 Kabaddi World Cup, as well. That outing was full of power-packed action on the mat and saw India and Pakistan face off in the closely fought Finals, which saw the Pakistani team lifting the World Cup after a 43-41 victory.

Kabaddi, being a contact sport, was obviously a victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought hiccups to the world of sports globally. While other sports like tennis, badminton, cricket, and football, among others are resuming their usual business with a new set of regulations, kabaddi is also set to make its reappearance soon. In India, the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is also making a return for an eighth season in December and will be held without spectators and in one city - Bangalore, instead of following the travelling caravan format of the league.

Likewise, the world of kabaddi has woken up internationally as well and India and Pakistan, both kabaddi-strong nations who take turns at winning World Cup's or being runner-ups at the biggest platforms, are set to get into the mood of international competition by playing a friendly within the Kartarpur Corridor in 2022, before the Kabaddi Tournament kicks off at Lahore, in April.

The PKF Secretary also confessed about the toll the pandemic has taken on kabaddi while looking ahead expectantly towards the future. "Since it (kabaddi) is the contact sport, the things had been really tough for kabaddi. We struggled to organise the camps, local and international events, but now things have opened up and we are ready to get back into a full groove. The international against India and four-nation tournament will set the international kabaddi rolling," Sarwar mentioned.

With the resumption of the kabaddi season now imminent, the plans have begun and India and Pakistan will be the ones to get the mood set for the much-awaited tournament in April with the friendly within the Kartarpur Corridor area.

"Hopefully, the international match will be organised near the end of March. Since we are to host a four-nation international in Lahore in April 2022 so we want to stage the friendly in March, just weeks before that international event," Sarwar mentioned to The News. "Apart from Pakistan and India, Canada and Iran have also confirmed their participation in the four-nation event. These four countries have the best teams in the world and are expected to offer quality kabaddi to the fans. All the participating teams are eagerly looking forward to the event," the PKF Secretary informed.

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