When asked about the reasons, he said, "The reasons are best known to Punjab Kabaddi Association president Sikander Singh Maluka. He has to select the team. My job is to prepare the selected players for the matches."
When asked whether the delay in announcing the team would affect its performance, Baba said, "Ideally, it would have been better if the team had been named in advance. However, we have a strong pool of 20 players. Our prospects are not going to suffer."
The team selection process is already under a cloud after an ousted player, Vicky Ghanur, levelled allegations of irregularities in the criterion, even as the results of dope tests conducted on Indian players are awaited.
Ghanur has also alleged that the delay is part of the selection committee's strategy to pick its favourites. "Dope tests should have been conducted much in advance. The team will be announced at the last moment so that nobody gets a chance to protest," he said.
Despite repeated attempts, neither Maluka nor director, sports, Punjab, SS Dhillon could be contacted for comment.