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Iranians play pro kabaddi in India.

Two Iranians have been picked as the two highest paid players in India's Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), a sport little known outside the subcontinent.

Hadi Oshtorak was drafted by the Telugu Titans of Hyderabad, for $33,230 in the international draft held in Mumbai Monday, making him the highest paid player for the second season of kabaddi league.

His compatriot, Meraj Sheykh, was also signed by the Telugu Titans for $31,650.

Last year, the highest paid player was Rakesh Kumar who was signed for just $20,150 by the Patna Pirates.

In all, 14 international players were signed for the upcoming season of the eight-city league.

"It's a great moment for the sport of kabaddi. The fact that Iranians are the two most prized players in PKL bears testament to the growth and acceptance of the game beyond India. The expansion of the global pool of players is a great step towards making kabaddi an Olympic sport," Telugu Titans owner Srini Sriramaneni said.

In the international version of kabaddi, two teams of seven members take turns sending a "raider" into the other half. To win a point, the raider must take a breath, run into the opposing half, tag one or more members of the opposite team, then return to his home half before inhaling again.

The raider will chant "kabaddi, kabaddi" with his exhaling breath to show the referee he has not inhaled. The raider will be declared "out" and will not gain the point if he inhales before returning to his side, or returns without touching an opponent. The tagged defender(s) will be "out" if they do not succeed in catching the raider who tagged them. Wrestling the raider to the ground can prevent him escaping before he needs to inhale.

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Title Annotation:Hadi Oshtorak and Meraj Sheykh
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jul 10, 2015
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