Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE national Kabaddi team manager, Muzondiwa Gilbert Makowah, is confident the team will give a good account of themselves in their maiden appearance at the Kabbadi World Cup scheduled for Malaysia in July.
The world fiesta was initially slated to run from April 6 to 15, but the international authorities this week decided to shelve the event until July.
It is now pencilled to run between July 27 and August 4 at the same venue.
And Zimbabwe will use the window to fine-tune all aspects of the game.
Kabaddi is a contact team sport.
Played between two teams of seven players, the objective of the game is for a single player on offence, referred to as a “raider”, to run into the opposing team’s half of a court, tag out as many of their defenders as possible.
They then return to their own half of the court, all without being tackled by the defenders, and in a single breath.
Points are scored for each player tagged by the raider, while the opposing team earns a point for stopping the raider.
Players are taken out of the game if they are tagged or tackled, but can be “revived” for each point scored by their team from a tag or tackle.
The sport is popular in the Indian subcontinent and other surrounding Asian countries.
And at this year’s Kabaddi World Cup, 32 countries, including Zimbabwe, are expected to take part in the men’s category and were drawn into eight groups of four.
Zimbabwe will battle it out against the USA as well as Poland and Italy in Group G.
The women’s section will see 24 countries participating.
Zimbabwe will be one of the most inexperienced teams at the event but Makowah says the charges will be equal to the task.
Kabaddi is a relatively new sport whose roots are in India and Zimbabwe is the only country from the SADC region participating at the World Cup this year.
Other countries from this continent going to the tournament include Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius and Tanzania.
The national team is under the tutelage of Tendai Jambwa with Westridge High guru Dhruvkumar Pathak coming in as the assistant.
Makowah said the team has since intensified preparations after they got a shot in the arm from cooking oil concern Zimgold last week.