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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Kabaddi World Cup comes to city

Navrajdeep Singh , Hindustan Times  Patiala, November 07, 2013
First Published: 23:26 IST(7/11/2013) | Last Updated: 23:27 IST(7/11/2013)

The city would host two matches, one each in men and women categories, during the fourth edition of the Kabaddi World Cup beginning on November 30.

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The matches would be played on the Yadavindra Public School fields under floodlights.

Confirming the development, deputy commissioner GK Singh said that in a recent meeting, Punjab sports secretary Ashok Kumar Gupta informed him that the city would host two kabaddi matches, and directed him to make arrangements.

Earlier, taking note of poor audience response during the first three editions, education minister Sikander Singh Maluka, who is also president of the Punjab Kabaddi Association, had decided to exclude Patiala while finalising the venue list on July 20.

While the city had also organised the opening ceremony of the first world cup, last year, spectators had been left high and dry when the match between India and Afghanistan was cancelled at the eleventh hour.

Upset with the exclusion of the city from the list of hosts, Patiala rural member of legislative assembly Brahm Mohindra, who is also the vice-president of the Punjab Olympic Association, rural development and panchayat minister Surjit Singh Rakhra and other senior Shiromani Akali Dal leaders requested deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal to review the decision.

However, the DC said that acting on their representation to give day matches to the city due to cold conditions at night, the sports department had excluded the city as one of the venues.

“Patiala being a hub for sports, we submitted another representation demanding that matches be played under floodlights,” he claimed.

He admitted that low turnout had always remained a problem, as villagers did not turn up to watch the matches due to cold weather.

“This time, we will ensure that besides urban spectators, maximum number of villagers are able to come here and watched the matches,” he said, adding that while matches in the men category were yet to be finalised, in the women category, India would lock horns with Kenya.

He added that a committee was constituted on Thursday under additional deputy commissioner Amrit Gill to look after preparations for the matches.

Sangrur, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Mansa, Amritsar, Fazilka, Ropar, Chola Sahib and Jalalabad have also been slated as hosts.

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