Everything you need to know about the 68th Senior National Kabaddi Championship
The 68th Senior National Kabaddi Championship will kick off in Ayodhya (UP) from 13th April 2021. This premier Nationals Tournament is in its 68th edition. All Indian states, Railways and Services will send their best teams to Nationals. Railways led by the able Dharmaraj Cheralathan and then by the brilliant Pawan Sehrawat have won the last two editions of the tournament. That said, Services are never far behind, finishing second both times.
Last year, under the aegis of Rajasthan Kabaddi Federation the tournament concluded an abruptly shortened year of Kabaddi. This year UP Kabaddi Association will conduct the event. UP won the 63th Senior Nationals conducted in Bangalore back in 2016. UP lost in the semi-finals to Services in the 67th Senior Nationals. UP finished strongly in the 2nd place in Junior Nationals and will look to finish in the top 3 in the Senior Nationals too. The weight limit for the tournament is 85 kgs.
Senior Nationals Pool
30 States are divided into eight pools (A-H).Top two teams from each pool and a total of 16 teams will enter playoffs. Pre-quarters are due to start from 15th April.
Pools A and B consists of three teams each with defending champions Railways in Pool A and last-year's runners-up Services in Pool B, while the remaining six groups feature four teams each. Indian Railways have an easy draw and should top Pool A; on the other hand Services might face a stiff challenge from Delhi. Delhi for the first conducted selections to pick their team for Senior Nationals.
Pool C will be tight with semi-finalists from last year Rajasthan going head to head against Punjab and HP. Home team UP is in pool D, will face stiff challenge from Chandigarh. Haryana and Bihar have comfortable draws in Pool E and Pool F. Southern States Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will face off against each other in Pool G. Tamil Nadu recently finish strongly in the semi-finals of 47th Junior Nationals in Telangana. In Pool H, Maharashtra should comfortably top the pool.
The 42 league matches will go on on days 1-2 on 3 mats. In purview of the limited time often the last few matches may get scrapped unless the points table is affected.
Top Players to Watch Out For
1. Pawan Sehrawat, Vikas Kandola, Rohit Gulia, Parvesh, Sunil Kumar (Railways)
2. Pardeep Narwal, Meetu, Sandeep Narwal, Parteek Dahiya (Haryana)
3. Athul MS, Sagar Krishna (Kerala)
4. Maninder Singh (Punjab)
5. Rahul Chaudhary, Nitin Tomar, Abhishek Singh (UP)
6. Deepak Hooda (Rajasthan)
7. Ajay Thakur, Vishal Bharadwaj (HP)
8. Nitesh Kumar (Goa)
9. Ajit Kumar (TN)
10. Naveen Kumar, Arjun Deshwal, Surjeet Singh (Services)
11. Siddharth Desai, Pankaj Desai, Subham Shinde (Maharashtra)