After India's win over Iran yesterday, Indian Srinivas Reddy hits out at his Iranian counterpart’s allegation that India played ‘unfair’, insisting that kabaddi is meant to be a contact sport. Reddy hailed the crowd who queued up to show their support to the Indian team in their last game in Dubai.
The Indian team won the Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018, defeating Iran by a good margin of 18 points on Saturday. However, the defeat didn’t go down too well with Iranian team, who alleged that Indian team had played ‘unfair’ game. Indian coach Srinivas Reddy was quick to respond to the allegations and stated that kabaddi has to be played physically could not played be like a non-physical game like carrom.
With India leading by a slender seven points at the break, Ajay Thakur and Co hit the top gear after the change over. In a fierce move, Rishank Devadiga tackled the Iran captain Amir Hossein Maleki, who complained that he was “bitten”. But referee dismissed the allegations and kept the match on with India stretching a 35-19 lead before sealing the issue 44-26.
“We played with aggression. It’s a body contact game, it’s not carrom. Kabaddi is a tackle sport and is played like this. This was our last game in Dubai and we had to give our best,” Reddy told the post-match news conference as quoted by Indian Express.
Reddy also hailed the overwhelming response from the crowd who queued up in the scorching afternoon sun at the Al Wasl Sports Complex to cheer India.
“It was amazing. I could not believe my eyes… It seemed we played in India,” he said.
“Our ultimate aim is to win the Asian Games in Indonesia in August-September. This will put us in the right stead. We will have a break for a week or so before we assemble for India camp. We will now have to start from zero,” Reddy, who won the title in his maiden assignment as coach, said.
Iran coach Gholamreza Mazandarani claimed that both the coach and players “played unfair”.
“Also the referees did not call any fouls. It was a good experience for me and the new players.”
Sounding a warning bell, the coach said they would put up a transformed show in the Asian Games as they would have their full team for Indonesia.
“It was a young side here. But we will be different in Jakarta,” Mazandarani said.