Star raider Anup Kumar from Haryana will lead India in next month’s Kabaddi World Cup to be held in Ahmedabad.
All-rounder Manjeet Chillar will be Anup’s deputy in the 14-member squad for the tournament that is set to commence on October 7 and will feature 12 teams, it was announced at a media conference.
The countries which will take part in the tournament are Iran, South Korea, Bangladesh, USA, England, Australia, Poland, Thailand, Japan, Argentina, Kenya and hosts India.
Balwan Singh is the head coach of the squad with E Baskaran as his deputy.
“The training camp hosted in Ahmedabad involved rigorous training that helped us select the right set of players for the Indian squad. Our aim is to have a balanced team composition for the upcoming World Cup,” said Balwan.
“We are expecting the tournament to be more competitive than ever this year. It will be the biggest challenge that the Indian team has faced in recent times.”
Cricket legend and captain of the 1983 World Cup winning team, Kapil Dev, unveiled the team jersey. The cricket icon also presented Anup his autographed, colour T-shirt that he had worn in Australia when India played its first limited overs contest Down Under.
Asked by Anup how he handled pressure in tight situations as a captain, Kapil said: “Players don’t feel pressure once they are involved with the team. Just enjoy the game and results will come.”
“If a mistake is made during play, the captain should take the blame and if the team did well he should credit the entire team for it,” explained Kapil.
The squad: Anup Kumar (captain, Haryana), Ajay Thakur (Himachal Pradesh) Deepak Hooda (Haryana), Dharmaraj Cheralathan (Tamil Nadu), Jasvir Singh (Haryana), Kiran Parmar (Gujarat), Manjeet Chillar (vice captain, Punjab), Mohit Chillar (Punjab), Nitin Tomar (Uttar Pradesh), Pardeep Narwal (Haryana), Rahul Chaudhari (Uttar Pradesh), Sandeep Narwal, Surender Nada Surjeet (all from Haryana)