LAHORE  -   Pakistan Green kabaddi team routed India by 40-29 to win the International Kabaddi Taakra final played here at Punjab Stadium on Sunday.

From the title winning side, Pakistan Green, Musharraf Janjua and Jaabar Kamboh were adjudged the best stopper and raider of the main final. The arch-rivals started the final in great style and amused the spectators by exhibiting their prowess throughout the match. Pakistan Green showed great kabaddi skills and dominated the proceedings right from the word go. Pak players Musharraf Janjua, Jaabar Kamboh, Shafiq Chishti and Khalid Bhatti demonstrated excellent performances in both raiding and stopping departments of game. At the half time, Pakistan Green were leading by 23-15 points.

Indian players also exhibited wonderful performance but they could not score enough points to win the game. Indian skipper Partap Singh and his players Harjeet Singh, Sandeep Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Naresh and Mikki showed good form for their team. But after playing so well and matching fire with fire, they lost the final by 29-40.

In the third/fourth place clash, Pakistan White team defeated Iran by 31-24 to bag the third position. The honours of the best stopper and raider were grabbed by Nafees Gujjar and Irfan Mana respectively. Rs 1.6 million cash prizes were distributed among the participating teams.

Thousands of kabaddi fans were there in the stadium to cheer for the participating teams. Traditional dances of all four provinces were also presented on this occasion. Top folk singer Akram Rahi and other performers attracted the audience through their lively performances. The players of all the teams had a round of stadium on ‘bhaggis’. National anthems of Pakistan, Iran and Indian teams were also played.

Senior Punjab Minster Abdul Aleem Khan, Punjab Sports Minister Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, Minister of Punjab for Industries, Commerce and Investment Mian Aslam Iqbal, Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) President Shafay Hussain, Secretary Sports Punjab Nadeem Mehboob, Director General Sports Punjab Nadeem Sarwar and DG Iran Consulate Ali Akbar Rezai were the guests of honour on the final day.

Punjab Sports Minister Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, PKF President Shafay Hussain and Director General Sports Punjab Nadeem Sarwar also distributed prizes among the leading performers of the tournament. They were also introduced with the players of all teams. POA General Secretary Khalid Mehmood, PKF Secretary Rana Sarwar, Director Sports Hafeez Bhatti, PBF General Secretary Wajid Ali Chaudhry, Deputy Directors Tariq Wattoo, Shahid Nizami, Tournament Director Shahid Faqeer Virk and a large number of kabaddi enthusiasts were also present in the stadium.

Senior Punjab Minster Aleem Khan, on this occasion, said that the participation of Indian and Iranian kabaddi teams is a good omen for the future of sports in Pakistan. He appreciated the performance of all the participating teams. “The way Pakistan team displayed sterling performance in the event, it looks the future of kabaddi is bright in Pakistan.”

Punjab Sports Minister Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti said that Punjab government will do maximum efforts for the promotion of sports especially kabaddi in the province. “We will hold more such international sports events in future.” SBP Director General Nadeem Sarwar thanked the guest teams, honourable guests and kabaddi lovers at the prize distribution ceremony for showing great passion for the game.