Legendary kabaddi player and India’s World Cup-winning captain, Anup Kumar announced his retirement with immediate effect.
Anup Kumar, who began his international career in 2006 at the South Asian Games in Sri Lanka, made the announcement as his team, Jaipur Pink Panthers squared off against Gujarat Fortunegiants at Panchkula. In a career spanning over 15 years, Kumar has led several teams to victory and grown the sport in the country.
A veteran in his sport, Kumar was part of the Indian National Kabaddi team that won gold medals in 2010 and 2014. Thereafter, he captained the Indian National team in 2014 and it was during his tenure that the team won 2 gold medals at Asian Games in 2014 and the Kabaddi World Cup in 2016. In season 2 of the Pro Kabaddi League, Anup captained U Mumba and led the team to victory. Kumar has also won the Arjuna Award in 2012.
Announcing his retirement, Anup Kumar said, “When I started playing kabaddi, I was invested in the sport because I liked it and it was a great hobby, over the years a hobby became the most important part of my life. The day I took to playing kabaddi professionally, I had one dream, to represent my country and bring back a gold medal, I am one of the few lucky people who had the opportunity to accomplish the most important dream of my life.”
“Today, with the Pro Kabaddi League, the magnitude of the sport has grown leaps and bounds and I could not be happier than to watch and grow and be a part of this journey. This platform is an extremely important aspect of my life and that is why today I use the platform to make this announcement. Coincidentally, today is also the 10th birthday of my son, and that makes this date even more memorable. Going forward, if there is anything I am confident about, it is knowing that I will always want to be connected to the sport,” the 35-year-old added.
Meanwhile, team owner of U Mumba, Ronnie Screwvala said, “When I heard of Anup Kumar’s retirement, I have to say it didn’t surprise me because he is one of the smartest and intelligent players in Kabaddi. He gets his sense of timing on the field and I think he gets his timing when he is looking at his own career off the field as well. One thinks sometimes that retirement is the end, but it is the beginning of another challenge in your life.”