Teams from 23 countries will participate in the men and women's sections of the third World Cup Kabaddi (circle style) to be organised across Punjab from December 1 to 15.
The tournament carries a prize money of Rs 4.54 crore. In all, Rs 20 crore has been earmarked for the event.
Giving this information here on Tuesday, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said of the 16 teams in the men's section, Denmark, Iran, Kenya, New Zealand, Scotland and Sierra Leone were taking part in the event for the first time. Eight teams have no player of Indian origin, he added. In the women's category, India, Canada, Denmark, England, Malaysia, Turkmenistan and the US will vie for top honours.
"Denmark has already given official recognition to circle kabaddi. This would help us in our mission to take kabaddi to the Olympics," said Sukhbir.
The opening ceremony will be held in Bathinda, with Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal presiding over as the chief guest. Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar will perform on the occasion.
Pakistan Punjab chief minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has been invited to attend the closing ceremony.
The winning men's team will get Rs 2 crore, while the runners-up will take home Rs 1 crore. The third-placed team will pocket Rs 51 lakh. In the women's section, the winners will get Rs 51 lakh, while the runners-up will be awarded Rs 31 lakh. The third-placed team will get Rs 21 lakh.
The deputy CM said the National Anti-Doping Agency had been requisitioned to keep the event free of doping. "Players failing the dope test would be barred for two years, besides forfeiture of their prize money or participation money," he added.
Bikram Singh Majithia, revenue, information and public relations minister, Punjab, was also present on the occasion.