Though kabaddi news has been slow of late, there have been several key developments in the world of Kabaddi, more specifically within India’s pro kabaddi league. The most recent news coming out of the sport relates to the off-season honoring of two Kabaddi figures and prominent Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) fixtures player- Deepak Niwas Hooda and coach- Manpreet Singh.
Hooda who plays for both the Indian National Team as well as for the Jaipur Pink Panthers is not to be confused with fellow Indian sportsman Deepak Jagbir Hooda who is a well-known cricketer that plays for Baroda. Niwas Hooda is an all-rounder who received the prestigious Arjuna Award handed out by a 12 member selection committee comprised of members of India’s national sports ministry. Niwas Hooda is well remembered as the player that helped lead India to gold in kabaddi at the 2019 South Asian games over Sri Lanka.
Singh is one of the foremost kabaddi tacticians in the world who knows the game from a players perspective having played in the PKL for the Patna Pirates, he is currently the head coach of the Gujarat Fortunegiants who finished the previous season in a disappointing 8th place after finishing first the prior two seasons. Coach Singh received the honor of the Dhyan Chad award, the first kabaddi related winner since another Singh took home the award in 2007, Shamsher Singh that is
Both Deepak Niwas Hooda and Manpreet Singh will officially receive their awards at a ceremony taking place on August 29th, 2020 which coincides with National Sports Day throughout India.
In additional kabaddi news, legendary raider Rishank Devadiga of the U.P. Yoodha recently listed his “dream-team” of seven players to create the ultimate kabaddi team, his response was recently recorded during an Instagram live upload via the Pro Kabbadi League’s channel. As a veteran of all seven PKL seasons and a prolific raider having scored 671 total points of those seven seasons. The seven players that Devadiga chose are listed by position below:
Raiders- Anup Kumar, Naveen Kumar, and Panjak Mohite. The #1 pick for the dream team Anup Kumar and Rishank Devadiga know each other well having both played on the same team for 4 years. The legend Anup has lead U Mumba to a PKL championship as well as leading the Indian national team to several gold medals under his guidance. Naveen Kumar, the PKL’s reigning MVP is an easy choice after becoming only the third kabaddi player in history to score 300 points in a season all while having team success as well, Naveen’s team the Dabang Delhi K.C. reached the finals of the Pro Kabaddi League before losing to the Warriors of Bengal. Mohite is a young player who had a breakout season for Puneri Pultan last season.
Corners- Ravinder Pahal and Fazel Atrachali. At the right corner position, Devadiga chose Delhi K.C.’s Pahal who is known by the monitor the “hawk” is a former PKL defensive player of the year and winner of the best defender award in season 2. At the left corner spot, Devadiga chooses foreign-born player Ravinder Pahal his former teammate and winner of two championships as well as two best defender awards. The Iranian currently plays for U Mumba.
Covers- Vishal Mane and Jeeva Kumal. Former U Mumba duo Mane and Jeeva Kumar are both former teammates of Devadiga (a common theme) who know respectively play for Delhi K.C. (Mane) and the Bengal Warriors’ (Kumar). Mane has played the most matches in pro kabaddi league history at 128 while also winning two PKL titles and appearing in the final a total of five times. Jeeva Kumar one the championship last season with the Warriors and is currently the 2nd highest tackle point-scoring cover in PKL history with 234 points over the course of 115 matches.