Anup Kumar: India's former kabaddi team captain retires
Former captain of the Indian national men's Kabaddi team, Anup Kumar, announced his retirement from the sport today in Panchkula. He played the last match of his career with his Pro Kabaddi team Jaipur Pink Panthers against the Gujarat Fortunegiants. Fondly known as "captain cool", Anup was currently captaining the team after moving from U Mumba in the Pro Kabaddi 2018.
A veteran of the game, Anup had a fantastic 15-year long career. He had begun his career during the 2006 South Asian Games and suddenly rose to become one of the major players of the team. He was a part of the team that won a gold medal in the 2010 and 2014 editions of the Games. The Government of India had honoured Anup with Arjuna Award in the year 2012 for his contribution to the sport.
Anup was then named the captain and led the team to gold medal victories in the 2014 Asian Games, 2016 South Asian Games and the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. He had announced his retirement from international kabaddi after the World Cup, to make way for younger talent in the team.
The 35-year old also had a successful run in the Pro Kabaddi League. Starting his league career as a captain of U Mumba in 2014, Anup was named the "Most Valuable Player" of the season for the 169 points he scored. He had led the team to the finals, only to end up as the runners-up.
In the PKL Season 2, Anup again led the team to the finals, but this time he ended up as the winning captain as his team defeated Bengaluru Bulls to lift its maiden title. In the third season, U Mumba again reached the finals under his leadership but lost to Patna Pirates.
A champion at getting a bonus point during his raids, Anup was also as "Bonus ka Badshah". During his run in the six seasons of the PKL, Kumar has some big records to his name. As a raider, he was the first player in the league to cross the 400 raid points. He currently has 596 total points (527 of which are raid points) from the 91 matches and stands sixth on the overall points board of PKL.
He was bought by the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the Pro Kabaddi 2018 after he was let go by U Mumba. Anup was having a difficult time this season and had scored on 50 points from 13 matches. The Panthers have already lost their chance to make a place in the playoffs and are currently in the fifth position in the PKL Points Table.