We are here to test young players, says Iran coach (IANS Interview)

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Dubai, June 23 (IANS) Iran coach Gholamreza Mazandarani, who sprung a few surprises by not including their star players for the six-nation Kabaddi Masters Dubai on Saturday said the team is here to check its bench strength and test the youngsters.

Iran omitted their star players — Fazel Atrachali, Abozar Mighani and Meraj Sheiykh, who were bagged by Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) franchises for hefty amounts in the last month’s auction.

Responding to query on the strategy behind resting the senior pros, the coach said the decision was made to keep them fresh for the challenging tour to India, which will begin after the conclusion of the ongoing Kabaddi Masters.

“We have tested them before, now it’s time to check other new players and it’s a good time to do this,” the coach told IANS.

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“After this tournament we will be going to India. Our full team will arrive there. In this tournament we have many teams but as you know India is a world class team. So if we play some good kabaddi there I don’t think we will be having any problems,” he added.

A day before the start of the Kabaddi Masters tournament, Indian coach Srinivas Reddy took a dig at Iran for not sending their top players.

When asked to comment on the views of the Indian coach, Mazandarani said: “I think this is our problem. We want players to be grown not their names that’s why we bring this team,” he added.

“In this tournament, I came to check my bench strength along with young players. If we win it’s good and if we lose no problem. But we came here to win and I am sure we can make it to the final,” he added.

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In their tournament opener on Friday, Iran produced a clinical all-round performance to beat South Korea 35-20. They will face newbies Argentina on Saturday.

(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])



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