Dubai: India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 36-20 in the inaugural match of Kabaddi Masters Championship in Dubai on Friday. The Indian team dominated the court and players gave a superb all-round performance, much to the delight of the crowd. Skipper Ajay Thakur scored 15 raid points. Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Ambassador Navdeep Suri were present at the match and had even unveiled the tournament trophy along with Bollywood actor and owner of Indian kabaddi franchise Jaipur Pink Panthers Abhishek Bachchan.

Speaking to the media after the game, Rathore said that an indigenous sport like Kabaddi has got all the ingredients to become an Olympic sport and that it is commendable that Kabaddi has gained international recognition and now more than 30 countries are playing this sport.

Rathore, a professional shooter and a former Athens Olympics silver medallist said that India is trying to bring about systemic changes in the field of sports to produce world class sportsperson in every field. He said efforts are being made to involve private sectors in the maintenance of the sporting arenas through a public-private partnership. India will next play Kenya on Saturday.