Hoping to come out with flying colours and take the title back home, the enthusiastic Pakistani contingent of both men and women kabaddi teams reached India via Attari to participate in the Kabaddi World Cup.
Even as it is the first visit of the Pakistan women's team to India, there are nine new faces in the men's team, who are visiting here for the first time.
Crossing over the border amid the beats of drums on the Pakistani side, the confident players of both the teams said that they were in good shape for the World Cup.
Captain of the men's team Baabar Gujjar said: “It's always very exciting to come to Indian Punjab. The Kabaddi World Cup has grown up with every passing year and has its own charm.”
“We had one and a half months camp, where a lot of training was done on techniques. There are nine fresh faces in the squad. This is a younger and fitter team,” he added.
“We have always been very close to winning the World Cup, but this time around we are confident about it. Sports play a big role in forming bonds and I hope that such exchanges will improve relationship between the two nations, said the skipper.
While entering India with the 19-member Pakistani Women squad, skipper Madiha Latif said, “Yes, this is the first ever women's kabaddi team from our country, but we are well prepared to take on any team.”
“Back home, there are high hopes. In addition, we have worked very hard at the camp to rope in best of the players so that we can win our first world cup,” she claimed.
Latif, who is confident of her team's performance, said: “Although the team is new, the game is not new to our country. We have been watching the men's team and there was lot to learn.”
The teams left for Bathinda to participate in the opening ceremony.