Pakistan and India will meet in the 2020 Kabaddi World Cup final at Punjab Stadium in Lahore today.
The blockbuster final is exactly what the fans, experts and organisers had expected and perhaps wanted.
The clash would not only be important because of the final but also because who the opponents are. Had this been a regular group fixture, even then it would have transcended the tournament.
Expect tons of casual fans to tune in, not because they love Kabaddi or care about the tournament but only because Pakistan is playing India, which when happens, no matter what sport, is a spectacle in itself.
Both the sides are unbeaten in the tournament, winning all their respective group fixtures with ease. They were made to work slightly harder than usual in a fixture or two — Pakistan by Azerbaijan in a Group B match and India by Australia in the semis — but their progression to the winner-takes-all final was never in question.
India has won each and every Kabaddi World Cup, of which it had hosted all and had thus enjoyed home advantage. The six-time champions have beaten Pakistan in four of those finals.
Tonight’s match offers the first-time hosts a shot at redemption and rewriting history books.
Although the final is scheduled to start at 7pm, the organisers have a penchant for tardiness so factor that in.
Meanwhile, before the final, at 4pm, Iran and Australia will also be in action to decide who finishes third.