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Kumar clears the air on retirement rumours


Ahmedabad, Oct 17 (IANS) Indian kabaddi team captain Anup Kumar on Monday trashed media reports about his imminent retirement from the international arena after the World Cup, currently underway at the TransStadia here.

Kumar, the poster boy of Indian kabaddi, said he was misconstrued by several media reports, which quoted him as announcing his retirement after the World Cup.

"I want to clarify I have no immediate plans of calling it quits from the international arena. What I said on Sunday was one day everyone has to retire but I am still fit enough to represent my country, so why should I?" Kumar told IANS.

"As I said, there has been some serious miscommunication as there are no immediate plans (to quit) from my side," he added.

The Haryana player, who took over the reins of the national kabaddi team earlier this year, said winning the 2016 World Cup is his sole focus as of now.

"I don't think too much about the future, so the thoughts of retiring after this tournament have never crossed my mind," the 32-year-old said.

"As of now, my sole focus is to win the Cup for the country. It will be such a huge boost for encouraging budding players to take up the sport as a career," he added.

"The World Cup is such a great platform to showcase India's prowess in the traditional game."

In the ongoing World Cup, India are placed second in Group A with 16 points after winning three of their four matches.

Already in the semi-finals, the hosts will take on England in an inconsequential tie on Tuesday.

Commenting on his team's preparations ahead of the semi-finals, Kumar said: "The morale is high after winning three back-to-back games but we are not taking England lightly."

Asked about any fitness concerns ahead of the business leg of the tournament, Kumar said star raiders Rahul Chaudhari and Deepak Hooda suffered minor niggles during practice but they have recovered.

Revealing his plans after the World Cup, Kumar said he will take part in the National Championships in Rajasthan next month before playing in the All India Police Games in December.

(Tridib Baparnash can be contacted at tridib.b@ians.in)



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