• Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018
  • Last Update : 01:44 am

Is this the end of road for Bangladesh kabaddi?

  • Published at 07:07 pm August 19th, 2018
Kabaddi
Action from the Asian Games Kabaddi match between Bangladesh and Chinese Taipei in Jakarta Sunday AFP

Three Bangladesh players - Sraboni Mollick, Srity Khatun and Disha Moni - made their Asiad debut against Chinese Taipei but failed to perform up to expectation due to lack of match experience

Bangladesh women’s kabaddi team suffered a shocking 34-28 defeat in their opening Group B match against Chinese Taipei while the men’s team also began their campaign conceding a 50-21 defeat against India at Theatre Garuda in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in East Jakarta Sunday. 

The men’s team conceding defeat against the reigning world champion came as no shock but the loss by their female counterparts raised questions as to whether Bangladesh would be in contention for the Asiad medals this time, falling behind the newer kabaddi nations.

The women’s kabaddi team earned Bangladesh bronze in the last two editions after the men’s team had won bronze in 2006. The women’s team, this time, are likely to end their Asiad campaign without a single win for the first time, as they have to face Iran and South Korea in the remaining fixtures. 

Abdul Jalil, the women’s team coach, said after the game that lack of participation in tournaments leading up to this had them caught off-guard regarding the standards of the rising kabaddi nations. He mentioned Bangladesh’s absence from Asian Women’s Kabaddi Championship last year as a prime example.

“We predicted we could have won against Chinese Taipei but never thought it would end like this. We failed to stop them from getting those bonus points (seven),” said Jalil.

“The thing is we didn’t play any tournaments in the last two years while the other teams have been developing more. We didn’t even manage to play any practice matches.”

The fitness of the players along with the new rules was also in question as the Chinese Taipei looked fitter and faster than Shahnaz and Co. 

Bangladesh Olympic Association president Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq tried to console the players in front of the venue. But some of the players were still seen having a difficult time holding back their tears after the game. They realised that it was perhaps the end of their hope for medals.

President of Chinese Taipei Kabaddi Association, Dr Kuo-Jui Lin informed that their country started playing kabaddi from 2008 and finished sixth in the previous Asiad edition. They participated in the Asian Women’s Kabaddi Championship in 2017 and also hosted six countries for practice matches before the Asian Games. He admitted that playing in more competitions is the key reason behind their success. 

Three Bangladesh players - Sraboni Mollick, Srity Khatun and Disha Moni - made their Asiad debut against Chinese Taipei but failed to perform up to expectation due to lack of match experience. Bangladesh risk falling further behind if the trend continues.