Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: 10 things you need to know about Rohit Kumar
As he has only been on the circuit for one season, there are a lot of things people dont know about this energetic raider.
Top 5 / Top 1012 Jul 2016, 17:08 IST
Boisterous raider Rohit Kumar announced himself to the world at the third season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, which was also his debut season in the tournament. It took him a while to join the league, which comes as a boon for the indigenous sport of kabaddi, but when his time came, the 26-year-old grabbed his chance with both hands.
Playing for the Patna Pirates in the third edition, he became the first player after Anup Kumar in 2014 to win the MVP award in his debut season. As he has only been on the circuit for one season, there are a lot of things people don’t know about this energetic raider.
Here are 10 things that you need to know about Rohit Kumar:
1. Rohit Kumar was born on 19th January 1990 in Nizampur, Haryana, a place which is called the hotbed of kabaddi due to the village’s impact on the sport and the national team. Despite the scarcity of proper coaches to train the young players, Manjeet Chhillar, Mohit Chhillar, Rakesh Kumar and more learned their trade in Nizampur and have made the country proud.
“We were just kids when senior players like Manjeet Chhillar and Rakesh Kumar used to train in Nizampur. They used to teach the junior players the basics of the game. Seeing them excel in the sport gave me the confidence to achieve something similar in the world of kabaddi.”
2. The 26-year-old has kabaddi to thank for getting admitted in the Naval Forces in 2009 through the sports quota. With the Naval base being in Mumbai, Rohit didn’t need a second invitation to move to the city of dreams as he dreamed of meeting Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.
3. Rohit could have made his debut in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi in Season 1 itself when U Mumba selected him. However, as fate would have it, the Services Sports Controlled Board (SSCB) refused to release him and the tournament had to wait to witness Rohit Kumar’s magic.
4. It was in the 3rd season that the Services Board allowed Rohit and the other players to take part in the league and Patna Pirates swooped in to secure his signature. And what an inspiring signing he turned out to be. He led Patna Pirates to the title by scoring a massive 102 raid points in just 12 matches. Subsequently, he was adjudged the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the season to join an elite group of players like Anup Kumar (1st season) and Manjeet Chhillar (2nd season) to win the prestigious award.
Also Read: Interview with Bengaluru Bulls' newest addition Rohit Kumar: "My dad had this dream about me that one day I will go on and represent my nation"
5. Midway through the third season, Rohit Kumar fulfilled his father’s prophecy when he was drafted in to represent India at the 2016 South Asian Games (SAG). The tournament, which was held in Guwahati and Shillong, was his maiden call-up to the national team set-up. Despite making his debut with the Indian team, Rohit didn’t get overawed by the situation and helped India win the gold medal – their 8th overall in SAG history.
“My dad had this dream about me that one day I will go on and represent my nation.”
6. For Rohit, the joy did not stop after winning the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi title, as right after the culmination of the final, then Pirates captain and good friend Manpreet Singh announced that the newly crowned MVP will be tying the knot soon. A visibly-embarrassed Rohit confirmed the news and a couple of weeks after, he got hitched to Baveri, a school teacher by profession.
7. One love that Rohit has been open about is his deep affection for Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar. By his own admission, he is obsessed with Akki, as the actor is fondly called. His obsession has seen him get Akshay Kumar’s face inked on his arm along with his birthday while he has “Akki” tattooed below his neck.
“He has been my idol for a long time now. The amount of hard work he has done to achieve these great heights in the film industry is extraordinary. He had no family relations in the film industry before joining it, he had his struggles and he overcame all that with his hard work. I try to emulate that whenever I am on the mat playing kabaddi, though I have not met him in person yet!”
8. The highs of Season 3 took him to Bengaluru Bulls for the ongoing season. The Bulls had a poor outing in the third edition after reaching the semis and final in the first and second seasons, respectively. He was part of 15 players from the Services Sports Controlled Board who were picked in the draw ahead of Season 4.
9. He jointly also holds the record for scoring the highest number of Super 10s in Season 3, along with then-teammate Pardeep Narwal. Rohit scored 10 or more points in 5 out of the 12 matches he played, the joint highest in the third edition of the tournament. He eventually ended with 102 raid points to win the MVP award.
10. Despite making his Pro Kabaddi debut in Season 3, Rohit Kumar is the top scorer in the Bengaluru Bulls squad. With a total of 172 points, he finds himself narrowly ahead of record buy, Mohit Chhillar, who has 154 points to his name. Bengaluru Bulls captain Surender Nada completes the top 3 with 141 points.
Interestingly, Rohit’s 172 points came in just 20 matches, while Mohit and Surender took 51 and 44, respectively to reach their total. The team is bound to get points by the dozen whenever Rohit takes to the mat as he averages over 8.5 points per match.
Bengaluru BullsPatna PiratesRohit Kumar
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Hold Your Breath: Pro Kabaddi League Season 4 From 25 June
June 22, 2016
The fourth season of Pro Kabaddi League is set to begin from 25 June and end on 31 July. The tournament is expected to start with a game between Telugu Titans and Puneri Paltan which will be held at Mumbai. As many as 60 matches are expected to be played across seven venues with eight teams looking to earn top honours – five among them for the first time and three for the second time. This includes Jaipur Pink Panthers (the first champions), U Mumba (champions of the second edition) and Patna Pirates, the reigning champions. Till date, U Mumba has been the most consistent team in the tournament with 75% success rate, followed by Patna Pirates (56.25%), Telugu Titans (50%) and Jaipur Pink Panthers (50%).
Read: Pro Kabaddi League 2016 Schedule
The tournament has been sanctioned by International Kabaddi Federation, Asian Kabaddi Federation and Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India. Mashal Sports are the managers of the tournament and Star Sports are its broadcast partner.
Singer cum actor Diljit Dosanjh, who came to national limelight with Udta Punjab is the brand ambassador of the latest season. He has featured in PKL’s promotional video where he sings Khed de Gabru Kabaddi Mitron. However, the promotional campaign has also attracted some controversy after a perceived slight at one of the popular television shows – called Naagin with Mouni Roy in the lead – of Colors, which happens to be a direct opponent of Star TV. The promos entreat viewers to ditch fake ‘tamasha’ for real sporting challenges.
Bengal Warriors – The team is owned by Birthright Games & Entertainment Private Limited and its captain is Nilesh Shinde. Its head coach is Raj Narain Sharma. The team is based at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium, Kolkata. It has three overseas players – Jang Kun Lee from South Korea who plays as a left raider, Simon Kibura, a raider from Kenya and Chaminda Ruwan Samarakoon Mudiyanselage from Sri Lanka. He is a left corner defender.
Bengaluru Bulls – Owned by Kosmik Global Media, Bengaluru Bulls is led by Surjeet Narwal. Its head coach is Randhir Singh. The team is based at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. It has a couple of overseas players – Sinotharan Kanesharajah from Sri Lanka who plays as a raider and Nicholas George Mottram from UK who plays as a left corner defender.
Dabang Delhi KC – The Delhi-based team is owned by Radha Kapoor and its coach is Honnappa C. Gowda. Its captain is Kashiling Adake. The team’s base of operations is Thyagaraj Sports Complex. It has a couple of overseas players from Iran – Meraj Sheyk, who plays as an allrounder, and Hadi Tajik, who is a defender – and also one from Thailand – Phonchoo Tin, who is an allrounder.
Jaipur Pink Panthers – Owned by Abhishek Bachchan, Jaipur Pink Panthers are led by Jasvir Singh, and are coached by Kasinathan Baskaran. The team is based at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Its three overseas players are Lo Chia Wei from Chinese Taipei who plays as a raider, Wei Yang from Taipei, who plays as a right cover defender and Masayuki Shimokawa from Japan, who plays as a raider.
Patna Pirates – Owned by Rajesh V Shah, Patna Pirates is coached by RS Khokar. The team is based at Patliputra Sports Complex in Patna. The team is led by Dharmaraj Cheralathan and its three overseas players are from Iran – Abolfazel Maghsodlo plays as a raider, Fazel Atrachali plays as a left corner defender, and Hadi Oshtorak, who plays as an allrounder.
Puneri Paltan – Insurekot Sports Private Limited is the owners of Puneri Paltan and the team is coached by Ashok Shinde. Manjeet Chhillar is the captain of the team. Its two overseas players are Khomsan Thongkham, a raider from Thailand, and I Ketut Ariana, a right corner defender from Indonesia. The team is based at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex.
Telugu Titans – Telugu Titans is owned by Srinivas Sreeramaneni on behalf of Veera Sports and its coach is Dr Ramesh Bhendigiri. It is based at Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad. The team is led by Rahul Chaudhari. There are a couple of overseas players from Pakistan – Akhlaq Hussain and Muhammad Rizwan who play as allrounders. The other overseas player is Mohammad Maghsoudlou from Iran. He is an allrounder as well.
U Mumba– U Mumba is owned by Ronnie Screwvala, and the team is based at Dome, NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai. The team is coached by Ravi Shetty and Bhaskaran. Its captain is Anup Kumar. All its overseas players are from Bangladesh – Md. Arduzzaman Munshi, Md. Tuhin Tarafder, and Md. Zakir Hossain, all of whom are raiders.
Indian players to watch out for
The following table provides details of Indian players who can stand out during the new season:
|Anup Kumar||Raider||U Mumba|
|Rakesh Kumar||Raider||U Mumba|
|Nilesh Shinde||Right corner defender||Bengal Warriors|
|Nitin Mandane||Raider||Bengal Warriors|
|Mohit Chhillar||Right corner defender||Bengaluru Bulls|
|Surender Nada||Left corner defender||Bengaluru Bulls|
|Kashiling Adake||Raider||Dabang Delhi KC|
|Jasvir Singh||Raider||Jaipur Pink Panthers|
|Shabeer Bappu||Raider||Jaipur Pink Panthers|
|Pardeep Narwal||Raider||Patna Pirates|
|Dharmaraj Cheralathan||Raider||Patna Pirates|
|Ajay Thakur||Raider||Puneri Paltan|
|Manjeet Chillar||Allrounder||Puneri Paltan|
|Rahul Chaudhari||Raider||Telugu Titans|
|Sukesh Hegde||Raider||Telugu Titans|
Pro Kabaddi League 2016 Points Table
Lessons from the Kabaddi League event held in India