Chandigarh, Nov 28: With a record prize money of Rs.4.54 crore, including Rs.2 crore for the winner, the third World Cup Kabaddi, featuring a total of 23 teams, will begin at Bathinda Dec 1, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal announced here Tuesday.
Badal, who is also the state sports minister, said that teams from 16 nations will compete in the 15-day event in the men's section and seven in the women's competition.
The men's teams are from Afghanistan, Argentina, Canada, Denmark, England, Iran, Italy, Kenya, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Scotland, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, the US and hosts India.
The top three teams in the men's kabaddi will get prizes of Rs.2 crore, Rs.1 crore and Rs.51 lakh.
In the women's section, the teams are from Canada, Denmark, England, Malaysia, Turkmenistan, the US and India. The top three teams in the women's event will get prizes of Rs.51 lakh, Rs.31 lakh and Rs.21 lakh respectively.
The matches will be played at Bathinda, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Doda (Muktsar), Sangrur, Roopnagar, Chohla Sahib (Tarn Taran), Fazilka, Gurdaspur, Mansa, Jalandhar and Ludhiana, Badal told reporters here.
Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will give away prizes at the closing ceremony at Ludhiana on Dec 15.
Badal said he has issued directions that the event be free from drugs use. Promising a dope-free tournament, he said the services of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) have been requisitioned to conduct regular tests on the players.
He said that players failing the dope test would be barred for two years, besides losing prize and participation money.