Indian Kabaddi great, Anup Kumar on Wednesday announced his immediate retirement from the game, drawing curtains to an illustrious 15-year career that had begun with the South Asian Games in 2006.
The 35-year-old Arjuna Awardee led India to Asian Games title in 2010 and the Kabaddi World Cup in 2016. He was also part of the team that retained Asiad gold in the 2014 edition.
“When I started playing Kabaddi, it was a great hobby and 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,” Anup, who captained U Mumba to a Pro Kabaddi League title, was quoted as saying by PTI.
— ProKabaddi (@ProKabaddi) December 19, 2018
“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 by leaps and bounds and I could not be happier than to watch and grow and be a part of this journey.
“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,” he added reports the news agency.
Meanwhile, U Mumba team owner 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.”
Pro Kabaddi League Commissioner Anupam Goswami congratulated Anup for his contribution to the game and thanked him for being a role model to many youths in the sport.
“This is a great decision by a great player from a great stage of Kabaddi. Anup has been a senior player and a role model athlete for this sport. We totally respect his decision.”