Bathinda: The opening ceremony of the third edition of World Cup Kabaddi, in which teams from Pakistan and Afghanistan are also taking part, was held on Saturday.
23 teams - 16 men and seven women - would be seen in action.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal while paying homage to former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, who passed away on Friday, reiterated their resolve to make the state most literate in scientific temperament that will also excel in sports as visualised by the former PM.
Badal Sr. dedicated the tournament to Gujral and said nurturing sports talent amongst Punjabi youth would be the befitting tribute to him.
He said that he had cancelled all the events during the mourning period of former PM but the Kabaddi World Cup "being an international event could not be cancelled and rescheduled".
The originally scheduled four-hour long opening extravaganza was curtailed to one hour 45 minutes in view of the demise of Gujral in a Gurgaon hospital on Friday.
It was also decided to do away with the 15-minute long firework programme. It was also decided not to host the flags of participating countries.
However, popular film numbers were played during the opening ceremony, and models danced to these songs.
The Multipurpose Sports Stadium that was all decked up to welcome players from 18 countries gave a befitting event showcasing the rich culture and history of Punjab.


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