The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) has announced the final 14-member Indian men's kabaddi squad for the upcoming 11th Asian Kabaddi Championship 2023. The event is scheduled to be held in Busan, South Korea, from June 27th to 30th, 2023.
The star-studded roster will feature some of the best vivo Pro Kabaddi players who have performed sensationally in the kabaddi circuit in recent times.
The Most Valuable Player of Season 9, Arjun Deshwal, is set to make his debut in the Indian colours as he will be carrying the offence for the side alongside Dabang Delhi K.C.'s Naveen Kumar. The Asian Kabaddi Championship will witness the return of the Hi-Flyer Pawan Sehrawat, who will be back in action for the first time since October 2022 after suffering an injury.
The Indian raiding unit will also feature Puneri Paltan's dependable duo of Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat, as well as Patna Pirates' do-or-die specialist Sachin.
In defence, veteran right cover specialist Surjeet Singh will make his return to the national fold. The trophy-winning captain of vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9, Sunil Kumar, will be seen anchoring the defensive unit. U.P. Yoddhas' Nitesh Kumar and Telugu Titans' Vishal Bhardwaj are likely to be India's primary corner duo.
Haryana Steelers' Nitin Rawal will provide cover as the team's all-rounder, while Telugu Titans' left cover Parvesh Bhainswal will be hoping to capitalise on his opportunity in Indian colours as well.
Dabang Delhi K.C.'s Vijay Malik and Bengal Warriors' right corner Shubham Shinde have been named as standby players in the Indian kabaddi team.
The head coach of vivo PKL Season 9 champions, Sanjeev Baliyan, and current Tamil Thalaivas' head coach Ashan Kumar will be guiding the team. Former U Mumba and Tamil Thalaivas coach Edacherry Bhaskaran has been announced as the manager.
The Indian men's kabaddi team is the most successful side in the Asian Kabaddi Championships, winning seven gold medals in the last eight editions. The last edition was held in Gorgan, Iran, in 2017, where India beat Pakistan in the Final 36-22 to win the championship.
Indian kabaddi squad for 11th Asian Kabaddi Championship 2023:
Arjun Deshwal, Pawan Sehrawat, Naveen Kumar, Sachin, Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat, Sunil Kumar, Parvesh Bhainswal, Nitin Rawal, Nitesh Kumar, Surjeet Singh & Vishal Bhardwaj
Vijay Malik & Shubham Shinde