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Anup Kumar to coach Puneri Paltan in PKL 7

Anup Kumar to coach Puneri Paltan in PKL 7

Pune, April 6: India’s former kabaddi captain Anup Kumar, who retired from the game midway through Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season six, is set to start a new innings as the head coach of Puneri Paltan.

Anup had an illustrious career as a player. His international debut was in 2006 at the South Asian Games where the Indian men’s kabaddi team won gold. He also captained the team to win the gold medal in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games.

Moreover, Anup, also known as ‘captain cool’, led India to the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup title. It was under Anup’s captainship that India strengthened its position as the leading force in kabaddi on a global scale.

The 35-year-old was conferred the Arjuna Award for his contribution to the sport.

Speaking on his new role, Anup said: “Kabaddi is my first love and I have given everything for this sport. As a coach, this will be my first stint and I will concentrate on improving our team’s skills, fitness and presence of mind on the mat. I am looking forward to working with Puneri Paltan as a coach, in the upcoming season of PKL.”

Speaking on the appointment of the new coach, Kailash Kandpal, CEO of Puneri Paltan said: “Anup is vastly experienced in the PKL format and known for his cool and calm composure. We are banking on his expertise to implement new tactics this season for our team.”

29 players retained for Pro Kabaddi season 7

29 players retained for Pro Kabaddi season 7

Mumbai, March 25: As the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) readies for yet another action-packed season, a total of 29 players were retained in the Elite Retained Players category for the upcoming season.

The retained Elite players will continue their association with their respective franchises for Pro Kabaddi Season 7 starting July 19.

The number of Elite Retained Players this time has increased from the previous season’s 21.

The non-retained players will go under the hammer at the auction to be held on April 8-9.

The Player Retention Policy for VIVO PKL Season VII has been strengthened in line with the objective of building squad continuity and stability. The Elite Player Retention cap has been increased from a maximum of 4 to a maximum of 6.

Franchises can retain up to 6 Elite Players from either category A, B or C, with a maximum of two each from Category A and B.

Following the objective of building continuity, the League introduced a new category where a franchise can retain a New Young Player once his 2-year contract is completed under the “Retained Young Players” category.

These Retained Young players are over and above the existing cap of 6 New Young players that a franchise can have. This works in favour of young kabaddi players who have proved their mettle and can continue playing with their respective teams and allows the franchises to build continuity of young talent. The Retained Young Players list will be revealed soon.

Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, VIVO Pro Kabaddi said: “The League is cognizant of the significance of squad continuity and long-term association of players with their respective teams towards creating strong hooks and bonds for fans as well as sponsors.

“With this realisation, VIVO Pro Kabaddi League has consistently strengthened its Player Retention Policy to facilitate and augment squad continuity, to benefit players as well as their teams.”

This time, the pool of talent retained by the teams is a mixture of young and experienced players.

Team Tamil Thalaivas have retained Padma Shri Ajay Thakur for the second time in a row, along with Manjeet Chhillar.

Experienced players like Rohit Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls), Fazel Atrachali (U Mumba), Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates), Deepak Hooda (Jaipur Pink Panthers), Joginder Narwal (Dabang Delhi K.C) and Maninder Singh (Bengal Warriors) have been retained by their respective teams to bring forth their skills and game play in crucial times.

But players like Pawan Sehrawat (Bengaluru Bulls), Vikash Khandola (Haryana Steelers), Sachin (Gujarat Fortunegiants), Sandeep Dhull (Jaipur Pink Panthers) are all young players on the block who have shown their mettle and have been retained by their teams.

Vikesh Kumar Rawat

Kabbadi player killed in road accident

Ranchi, Feb 12: National-level kabbadi player Vikesh Kumar Rawat died after being run over by a truck in Jharkhand’s Deoghar district on Tuesday.

Rawat died instantly near the Blooming Buds school situated on the Deoghar-Dumka highway. The body was sent for post-mortem.

Expressing grief, kabbadi players in Deoghar said Rawat had to participate in the recruitment of the Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) at Bokaro on Wednesday.

Rawat had represented Jharkhand from junior to senior level in kabbadi games from 2011 to 2014.

In the name of Kabaddi, Punjab youth stay back in Canada

In the name of Kabaddi, Punjab youth stay back in Canada

Chandigarh, Jan 19:  Traditionally a tough, rural sport practised by ‘pehlwans’ in villages across the length and breadth of India, kabaddi has been flying high in recent years due to the money and glamour brought in by the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).

This new-found professionalism has certainly helped the top-level players and turned this typically ‘desi’ sport into a lucrative career option.

But going by a longstanding trend in Punjab, the benefits are yet to trickle down to the average athlete at the village level in the state.

Generally considered to be one of the traditional powerhouses of kabaddi in the country, players from Punjab are making news in faraway Canada for the wrong reasons.

Nearly 47 per cent of the youth going to the country in the name of participating in Kabaddi tournaments have failed to return, a confidential report of the Canadian government has pointed out.

“In 2015, 2016 and 2017, visas were issued to 261 kabaddi players. Forty seven percent of them failed to report back to the migration office in Chandigarh, 26 per cent obtained work permits after entry to Canada and 1 per cent made refugee claims,” the internal report of Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (Ministry), which is with IANS, has stated.

“While the rate of return increased from 42 per cent in 2015 to 62 per cent in 2017, the rate of persons obtaining work permits unrelated to Kabaddi has also increased from 21 per cent to 30 per cent,” it pointed out.

The youth are invited to Canada by kabaddi federations based there to play matches organised by the strong Indian community residing in the country.

“The rate of players who obtained work permits after entry to Canada (26 per cent) in 2015, 2016 and 2017 suggests that they intended to enter Canada primarily for long-term work unrelated to playing Kabaddi,” the report said.

Selection by a Canada-based kabaddi federation for visa facilitation effectively allowed the players to circumvent the conventional examination of work permit applications at a migration office outside of Canada.

With an increasing number of youth applying for Canadian visa in the name of kabaddi, the Canadian ministry, in 2017, had invited kabaddi federations in Canada to participate in a pilot programme related to the sport.

Players and federations were informed of the requirement to report back to the migration office at the conclusion of the season in Canada in December 2017. That year, 78 kabaddi players’ applications were approved for the four inviting federations. Of these, only 62 per cent reported back while 30 percent stayed back and obtained a work permit by presenting themselves with a labour market impact assessment at a land port of entry as “visa exempt” clients.

Among the four federations, according to the report, players of two federations had a rate of return of 29 per cent only. Players of the other two federations had an 88 per cent rate of return.

When contacted by IANS, officials at the national kabaddi federation refused to comment on the issue.

“The federation has nothing to do with this issue. These players go abroad on their personal initiative and at the behest of tournament organisers over there,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

Earlier, rate of refusal of visa applications for Kabaddi players was as high as 65 per cent (in 2014).

Canada’s Chandigarh visa office receives the vast majority of temporary resident applications from kabaddi players wishing to play in Canada.

“Kabaddi players applying through Chandigarh are typically young, single unsalaried males with limited economic prospects in their home county. Most belong to rural agricultural families with modest land holdings which may be held in common with several persons. Most applicants play for their village club which is usually supported by local patrons. It is difficult to gauge a player’s skill or standing in the sport as there is no formal structure at this level,” the report pointed out.

“Misrepresentation and fraudulent documentation are of concern. Fraudulent documentation, including photo-substituted evidence of applicants playing kabaddi, have been encountered among the supporting documentation submitted with applications,” it added.

Pawan’s heroics help Bengaluru clinch PKL-6 title

Mumbai, Jan 6: Bengaluru Bulls registered a stunning comeback, thanks to star raider Pawan Sehrawat, to edge past Gujarat Fortunegiants 38-33 and lift the Pro Kabaddi League Season 6 title in a nail-biting summit clash at the jampacked NSCI Stadium here on Saturday.

Gujarat could only blame their Fortunes after squandering a 7-point first-half lead even as Pawan Sehrawat turned out to be the game-changer for the Bulls with his late strikes, scoring 22 raid points while helping his side inflict two all-outs.

The stage was set for a mouth-watering contest, with veteran Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor reciting the National Anthem with the silverware glittering in the middle.

Mumbai once again turned out a happy hunting ground for the Bengaluru Bulls, who lifted their second PKL title after having clinched it earlier in the second season, back in 2015 at the same venue.

Despite going neck and neck in the initial part of the first-half, with both teams locked at 6-6 by 9th minute, Gujarat pounced on the hapless Bengaluru side from there on.

Bengaluru were handicapped by the patchy form of their skipper and star raider Rohit Kumar, who failed to score a single raid point in 6 attempts in the first-half.

Gujarat inflicted an all-out in 18th minute which helped them take a 7-point lead by the end of the first-half with the scoreline reading 16-9 in their favour.

Bengaluru Bulls’ defence made some unnecessary advance tackles which helped Sachin and K. Prapanjan.

Gujarat came back stronger in the second-half by tacking Pawan in the 21st minute before Bengaluru started crawling back with a couple of bonus points and tackles to reduce the margin to 17-21 by the 29th minute.

While Rohit continued to disappoint, star raider Pawan brought the Bulls back into the contest with three raid points to make it 20-21 in the next minute.

Rohit Gulia managed to steal a bonus point for the Gujarat side but a two pointer raid from Pawan help the Bulls inflict their first all-out of the tie and take a slender 23-22 lead for the first time.

But there was more drama in store; with merely six minutes left for the final whistle, both sides went neck and neck at 24-24 by the 35th minute.

Gujarat managed to get their lead of back with a super raid from Rohit Gulia before his namesake in the opposite camp Rohit Kumar finally managed a touch point in his 11th raid to make it 26-27.

Both sides managed to add a couple of points to make it 29-29 in the 37th minute as the contest headed for a nail-biting finish.

Pawan then showed his class, scoring two crucial quick raid points to give Bengaluru the 31-29 lead before piling more misery for Gujarat with an all-out in the dying minutes of the tie.

With that, Bengaluru’s lead swelled to 36-30 before they added a couple more to eventually end up 38-33 and all Gujarat could manage thereafter were gloomy faces after failing to take the title in their second consecutive final.

PKL-6: Bengaluru coach projects Rohit as next India captain

Mumbai, Jan 6: Elated at lifting their second Pro Kabaddi League (PKL)A trophy, Bengaluru Bulls head coach Randhir Singh on Saturday projected his winning skipper Rohit Kumar as the next India skipper — an opinion echoed by the hero of the summit clash Pawan Kumar.

The Bulls bounced back from a 7-point deficit to the Gujarat Fortunegiants in half time to comfortably end on the winning side at the jampacked NSCI Stadium here.

“The kind of talent and dedication both Rohit and Pawan depicted, I have no doubt they will surely be the assets of the national team for a long time.”

“Rohit was a zero as captain before this season but I was proved wrong with his extraordinary leadership skills, which make me believe he can be the next India captain,” Randhir told the media in the post-match presser.

Echoing the words of the coach, young Pawan, who turned out to be the game changer in the final, scoring 22 raid points, said it was Rohit’s sacrifice that helped him hog the limelight after the final.

“I have played under a lot of captains in my brief career but the kind of support Anup Kumar (ex-India captain) and Rohit gives to the youngsters is incredible. I fully second Randhir sir’s words,” he quipped.

On being asked the mantra behind the team’s success and the brave decision to bench big names, the coach said: “I didn’t want to go for big names which worked in our favour. We went for a young squad, got the cheapest of teams in the auction but still had the belief to win the title.”

“We selected our teams according to the demand of the situation instead of going after big names, that worked in our favour.

“From a personal point of view, this was the only elusive trophy in my cabinet and I am delighted to add that today,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh said his strategy of stopping both Pawan and Rohit worked in most parts of the match but unfortunately his wards failed to stick to the plan in the second half.

He concluded by saying that the game was in their hands for the first 35 minutes before Pawan’s excellence took the title away from their grasps for a second time in succession.

PKL 6: Gujarat up against confident UP in Qualifier 2 (Preview)

PKL 6: Gujarat up against confident UP in Qualifier 2 (Preview)

Mumbai, Jan 2: After missing their first chance to enter the final of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Gujarat Fortunegiants will take on a confident UP Yoddha in the second qualifier of the tournament at the NSCI Dome here on Thursday.

Gujarat were hammered 29-41 by Bengaluru Bulls in the first qualifier on Sunday and the latter became the first team to seal a final berth thanks to the thumping victory.

The Sunil Kumar-led Gujarat side witnessed a poor performance from their defenders in the game against Bengaluru and the team management will certainly hope its defenders to step up in the must-win contest.

Sunil and ace defender Parvesh Bhainswal, who has been the main strength of Gujarat’s defence, completely failed to click in the last game. While Sunil was pointless, Parvesh could only manage one point from five tackles.

Parvesh and Sunil with 82 and 69 tackle points respectively are at the third and fourth spot among the leading tackle point scorers of the ongoing season and will need to recover from that bad game quickly.

Gujarat’s raiding department will once again be on the shoulders of Sachin, who has accumulated 171 points from 21 games, averaging 8.1. He will seek support from K. Prapanjan, who has 112 points from 20 games with an average of 5.6.

On the other hand, UP will aim to maintain their winning run after being unbeaten in their last eight games.

During this eight-game unbeaten run for UP, Nitesh Kumar has been brilliant after scoring 36 tackle points, averaging 4.5 tackle points per game. Meanwhile, Jeeva Kumar has also stepped up after forming a potent right corner-left cover combo with Nitesh and this partnership has been key in taking down most of the opposition raiders.

Jeeva Kumar has 20 tackle points during this eight-match unbeaten run for UP.

In the raiding department, the responsibility will be shouldered by their star trio comprising skipper Rishank (99 raid points), Shrikant Jadhav, who has 134 points, and Prashanth Kumar Rai, who has been their most consistent raider through the season with 139 raid points from 20 matches, averaging 7.3.

The two sides have met twice in the league with Gujarat emerging victorious once while the other affair ending in a tie.

Overall, an interesting contest is on the cards as none of the team will try to miss a chance to enter the summit clash of the cash-rich league after covering a three month long journey.

PKL 6: Bengaluru hammer Gujarat 41-29 to enter final

Kochi, Jan 1: A collective effort from Bengaluru Bulls guided them to the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season six final after a thumping 41-29 victory over Gujarat Fortunegiants in the first qualifier of the cash-rich tournament at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Monday.

After the defeat, Gujarat will take on the winner between Dabang Delhi and UP Yoddhas in the second qualifier in Mumbai.

Pawan Sehrawat starred for Bengaluru with 13 raid points, while skipper Rohit Kumar also rose up to the occasion, picking 11 raid points. On the other hand, Sachin Malik and K. Prapanjan collected 10 and five points, respectively for Gujarat.

Pawan opened Bengaluru’s account with a successful raid before Sachin responded back for Gujarat with a two-point raid to make the affair 2-1. Bengaluru then rode skipper Rohit and Pawan’s raid attempts followed by a tackle of Prapanjan to extend their lead to 4-2.

Sachin continued to make the most of his raid attempts as his another two-pointer once again levelled the contest at 5-5 by the seventh minute. Both the sides traded raid and tackle points as the score was again tied at 9-9 by the 10th minute.

Rohit and Pawan’s consecutive successful raids helped Bengaluru extend their lead to 11-9 but Rohit Guliya’s two-pointer raid attempt equalised the matter at 11-11 with five minutes left in the first half.

Kashiling Adake’s failed raid attempt and Prapanjan’s successful raid saw Gujarat taking a meagre 13-11 lead by the 17th minute. Sumit made couple of consecutive successful raids to help Bengaluru cut the deficit to 13-14 by the end of the first half.

In the second half, both the sides once again continued to make some great tackles and raids as the issue was once again tied at 16-16 by the 24th minute.

Pawan’s failed raid attempt followed by Prapanjan’s successful attempt saw Gujarat stretching their lead to 18-16 however, Bengaluru tackled Prapanjan and Harish Naik came with a raid point to level the matter at 18-18 by the 28th minute.

Gujarat then collected four points in quick succession to take a 22-18 lead with nine minutes of play left and went on to inflict an all-out to further stretch their lead to 25-20.

The pendulum swung the other way as a super raid from Pawan guided Bengaluru to move to 23 points, leaving Gujarat with just four players on the mat. Pawan again came with a super raid to inflict an all-out as Bengaluru took a 29-26 lead over their opponents.

Bengaluru’s defence then stepped up as they tackled four Gujarat raiders in as many attempts to make the score read 32-26 by the 37th minute and Pawan’s another successful raid made the issue 33-26.

Bengaluru then inflicted another all-out to take a healthy 40-29 lead with just two minutes of play left. Rohit’s side then easily picked another point in the dying moments to register a comfortable 41-29 win.

PKL 6: UP thrash Delhi 45-33

PKL 6: UP thrash Delhi 45-33

Cochin,1Jan: In a completely one-sided affair, UP Yoddhas thrashed Dabang Delhi 45-33 in the third eliminator of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season six at the Rajiv Gandhi indoor stadium here on Monday.

Yoddhas’ star raider Prashant Kumar Rai collected 13 raid points while skipper Rishank Devadiga also chipped in with eight raid points to help his side emerge victorious in a do-or-die contest.

For Dabang Delhi, it was a disappointing night as their defence couldn’t muster enough points. Naveen Kumar top scored for Delhi with 10 points but couldn’t save his team from crashing out of the competition.

Yoddha will now play Gujarat Fortunegiants in the second qualifier in Mumbai to determine who will play Bengaluru Bulls in the final.

Yoddha got off to a flying start with Prashanta’s super raid in the second minute. Delhi were reeling under the shock as they suffered an all out as early as in the third minute.

Yoddha led 11-1 after three minutes and it looked like Delhi won’t recover from the early onslaught.

Chandran Ranjit made a two-point raid in the seventh minute as Delhi trailed 6-13 but Yoddha enjoyed the upper hand as after 10 minutes they led 17-8.

In the 14th minute UP Yoddha further asserted their supremacy as they inflicted another all out to lead 25-10.

At the end of the first-half, Yoddha led 27-13 and it looked like game over for their opponents.

Delhi tried to make a comeback in the second-half and inflicted an all out in the 24th minute to trail 21-31. But Prashant extinguished all their hopes of a comeback with a super raid in the 27th minute as UP Yoddha led 36-22.

Another all out was inflicted in the second half as Yoddha were in complete command of the match.

The last few minutes were all about Dabang Delhi bringing some respectability to the score line. Naveen got a super 10 for the losing side but his effort went in vain as Delhi crashed out of the tournament.

PKL 6: UP edge out U Mumba 34-29 in first eliminator

Cochin, Dec 30: UP Yoddhas rode on their defenders to make a major upset as they outclassed U Mumba 34-29 in the first eliminator of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season six at the Rajiv Gandhi indoor stadium here on Sunday.

Nitesh kumar collected eight tackle points for the Yoddhas and stopped the U Mumba’s raiders from making easy raid attempts. Meanwhile, Srikanth Jadhav picked five points for the Yoddhas.

On the other hand, U Mumba’s ace raider Siddharth Desai failed to click when it was needed most as he could only manage seven raids while his teammate Rohit Baliyan bought five raid points. U Mumba’s skipper and star defender Fazel Atrachali took four tackle poonts in the contest.

Siddharth opened U Mumba’s account with an easy raid but Srikath also responded for the Yoddhas to make the issue 1-1.A Siddharth gave another lead to his side with a successful raid attempt before being tackled by the Yoddhas as the score read 2-2 in the first three minutes.

Both the sides traded raid and tackle points in the next few moments as the score was once again levelled at 5-5 before Siddharth’s unsuccessful raid followed by Srikanth’s successful raid attempt gave the Yoddhas a marginal 7-5 lead. Yoddhas then inflicted an all-out to make the score 11-7 in their favour.

Yoddhas rode on some brilliant raid and tackle attempts by their players to extend their lead to 14-10 by the 12th minute. U Mumba witnessed consecutive failed attempts by its star raider Siddharth however, Darshan Kadiyan stepped up to fetch some points for his side. Some great tackles by the Yoddhas helped them taking a 18-15 lead by the end of first half.

In the second-half, Rishank continued to bring raid points for his side as the Yoddhas were leading 22-17 by the 25th minute. Srikanth and Siddharth’s successful attempts handed one point to their side as the score read 23-18 by the 27th minute.

Srikanth continued to make some stunning raid attempts to help his side take a 26-19 leadA with just 10 minutes left. Darshan’s another raid point and a successful tackle of Rishank helped U Mumba cut the deficit to 21-17 by the 32nd minute. U MumbaA then collected three points in quick succession while the Yoddhas fetched two points to make the scoreline read 29-24 by the 35th minute.

U Mumba’s raiders and defenders then made some stunning attempts to make the score 28-32 with just two minutes to go.A Yoddhas comfortably picked couple of poonts in the last five minutes while U Mumba could only bring a single point as the former ran away with an easy 34-29 win.

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