MUMBAI: After cricket, it’s Kabaddi’s turn to help boost diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan. The government of Punjab (Pakistan) under the leadership of Chief Minister Mian Mohammed Shabaaz Sharif have come forward and have consented to participate in the upcoming Wave World Kabaddi League.
The official team will be called Lahore Lions and will comprise national players like Babar Waseem, Lala Abaidulla, Shafiq Ahmad Chisti and Akmal Shazad Dogar. While the team will be managed and supervised by Punjab (Pakistan) directorate general of sports, the venture will be headed and monitored by Punjab (Pakistan) DG sports Usman Anwar.
The league matches will start from 9 August and Lahore Lions will play its first match against Vancouver Lions on 10 August in London. Commenting on the association, Lahore Lions manager Mohd. Waqas said, “Kabaddi is a popular sport in Pakistan. We are very elated to announce our representation in Wave WKL. It will be a proud moment for us to represent our country in the league across the globe. I wish the team stupendous success in the league.”
Wave WKL senior VP and Punjab Kabaddi Association president Sikander Singh Maluka said, “We welcome this initiative of Pakistan and thank them for their continued support. This move by the government of Punjab in Pakistan to participate in this mega event through their franchise Lahore Lions will make the matches more exciting and fun-filled. I am sure that it will be a great, entertaining league for everyone to watch.”
The official media launch of Lahore Lions is expected to happen on 7 August 2014 at the Punjab CM’s secretariat at Lahore. Wave WKL chief advisor Puneet Singh Chandhok confirmed the same and said, “The officials of both sides are expected to be a part of this launch including Pakistan Punjab CM Shahbaaz Sharif, chairperson Public Youth affairs Authority Pakistan, Rana Masood, Sports Minister, Punjab (Pakistan) and Sikander Singh Maluka. Lahore Lions is also expected to host the sports weekend at Punjab stadium, Lahore wherein all the other Kabaddi teams will also play against each other.