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A player of Patna Pirates (yellow-green jersey) in action against Bengaluru Bulls in a Pro Kabaddi tie at the Patliputra Sports Complex in Patna on Sunday. In the earlier match, Jaipur Pink Panthers defeated Bengal Warriors 39-23. The celebrity owner of the winning side, Abhishek Bachchan, was present during the tie. Picture by Deepak Kumar

Indian players in the Pro Kabaddi are confident of clinching gold at the Incheon Asian Games, but the different rules could come in the way.

The format of Pro KPL had been changed a bit to add excitement and hasten the game’s pace.

A senior Indian Kabaddi Federation official who did not wish to be named said: “In Pro KPL, each raid is restricted to 30 seconds by the stadium/TV clock. So, the raider has to either score a point or return to the area within 30 seconds. But at the Asian Games, a raider gets at least 40 seconds.”

Even the number of times a raider can enter the opponent court varies. In Pro KPL, a raid is treated as unproductive if raider does not score or lose points for his team in three consecutive raids. The raider is then declared out and the opponent team awarded a point. But this does not happen in the Asian Games format even after umpteen attempts. Also, in Pro KPL, there are seven players and seven substitutes, but major tournaments have seven players and five substitutes.

Patna Pirates main raider Ravi Dalal said: “Few changes have been introduced in Pro KPL but these will not affect players much. Instead, it will create (much-needed) psychological pressure on players.”

Deoraj Chaturvedi, assistant secretary of Asian Kabaddi Federation and Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India, said: “The rules were introduced to make the game scoring and TV-friendly.” He also said the Indian Kabaddi Federation would submit a proposal to the International Kabaddi Federation governing board to recognise the changes introduced in Pro KPL, but at Incheon, only the old rules will apply. Some sources said performance at Incheon would be hit as many would be tired after KPL.

The Asian Games take place from September 19 to October 4 in Incheon, South Korea.

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