A still from the 2006 Doha Asian Games match between India and Pakistan
The rivalry between India and Pakistan has been prevalent everywhere – Politics, sports, entertainment, business etc – since the formation of Pakistan back in 1947. Sports, in particular, has seen both the countries at loggerheads and being two of the best teams in kabaddi, India and Pakistan have been involved in extremely intense matches throughout their history.
The Asian Games introduced kabaddi at the Asian Games in 1990 while women's kabaddi started in 2010.
India vs Pakistan at the Asian Games
The rivalry started back in 1990 when India won the Gold medal at the Beijing Asian Games. Pakistan had to settle for the bronze medal at the Games. The Indians won all their five matches at the tournament, while the only loss Pakistan suffered in the group stage (Bangladesh beat Pakistan in the playoff for the 2nd spot) was at the hands of their neighbours, who emerged victorious 48-13.
The next edition of the games saw a repeat of 1990 in the medals. The first match was suspended, but 2 days later the arch-rivals faced each other with India getting better of the men in green 42-20.
In Bangkok in 1998, India beat Pakistan in a narrow 17-9 win, which ensured India's top spot and relegated Pakistan to 2nd spot.
The all-conquering Indian team hammered Pakistan 37-7 at the Busan Asian Games. Leading 23-4 at half-time, the men in blue completed the rout with a sensible performance in the second half. Pakistan had to settle for the bronze once again as India stood at the top of the podium.
At the 2006 edition of the Asian Games, the format was changed to a group cum knockout format. The teams faced off twice – once in the group stage and the other time in the final. India showed their quality by beating their crossborder rivals 31-20 in the group stage and 35-23 in the gold medal match.
The 2010 Asian Games was the only edition where both teams didn't face each other. India won the gold yet again, while Pakistan finished 3rd in the standings.
At the Incheon Asian Games in 2014, the Pakistani side were handed yet another defeat (23-11) by the mighty Indians, who edged out Iran in the final to win their 7th consecutive gold medal. Iran had beaten Pakistan in the semis which meant they won their 5th bronze medal at the Asian Games.
The 2010 South Asian Games saw India beat Pakistan in yet another international final to adorn its already glorious cabinet with another gold medal.
India vs Pakistan in circle-style kabaddi
In circle-style kabaddi, the rivalry took an ugly turn at the 2014 World Cup when Pakistan cried foul in the final, where India emerged victorious 45-42 after trailing in the final minute. India's victory was marred with allegations of favouritism and foul play.
Punjab has played host to the 5 editions of the Circle-Style Kabaddi World Cup. India has won every single tournament whereas Pakistan have won silver on four occasions, while in 2011, they came third. In 2010, India defeated Pakistan 58-24 to win the inaugural edition and they defended their title in 2011, this time against Canada (59-25).
59-25 was the scoreline again in the 2012 final where India beat Pakistan. The Indians won the 2013 and 2014 World Cups as well beating their fierce rivals 48-39 and 45-42 respectively in the finals.
The unique initiative by Star Sports – Star Sports Pro Kabaddi – has brought players from Pakistan to team up with Indians at the tournament. Two Pakistani players – Waseem Sajjad and Nasir Ali – have been signed up by Patna Pirates for the 2015 season of Pro Kabaddi. Waseem Sajjad was part of the 2014 edition as well, while Nasir Ali was brought in for the second season.
Originally published on Sportskeeda.com here