Indian kabaddi captain sure of Asian Games gold

Mumbai: Skipper Rakesh Kumar is confident that India would clinch the gold medal in men`s kabaddi at the forthcoming Incheon Asian Games for the seventh time on the trot and feels the Pro Kabaddi League starting tomorrow will help the players ahead of the mega event.

"I am pretty confident of (India) winning the gold in the Asian Games. Iran, Pakistan and hosts South Korea would provide the main challenge for us," Kumar told reporters.

Korea has utilised Indian coaches for doing well in the tag game and one of them is still in that country training their players some of whom are to take part in the month-long league that kicks off at the NSCI Stadium here with the game between the franchise teams of Delhi and Bangalore.

Kumar, who will play for Patna Pirates team in the cash-rich IPL-style league, said the experimental rules that the tournament organisers have come up with will help all the 36 Incheon probables in their preparation for the September 19-October 4 Asian Games.
"These experimental rules will help us in the Asian Games," said Kumar, one of the highest-paid player in the league.

Prasad Rao, former national coach and technical director of the league, said these rules have been introduced to make the game exciting and said at least four of these will make their way into the regular kabaddi games.

"There are six new rules and I feel four of these will make their way into the regular kabaddi games," said Rao.

Raiders will be governed by a 30-second `raid clock` to eliminate time wasting tactics when leading. A raider, who enters the opposition`s half in the presence of six or more defenders, will be awarded a bonus point.

To reward the defenders, the tournament organisers have introduced a `super catch`, wherein, if a raider gets trapped when up against only three defenders or less, the defending team will get an extra point.

To minimise the number of empty raids, the third consecutive empty raid by any team will result in the ouster of that raider, and a point will be awarded to the opposition.

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