The Iranian right corner defender Abozar Mighani will ply his trade for the defending champions Bengal Warriors this season. The Kolkata-based franchise recruited his services on the inaugural day of PKL Auction 2021 at ₹30.5 lakh.
The Bengal Warriors, coached by former Indian Kabaddi legend BC Ramesh, won the title for the first time in the seventh season of the PKL. A collective effort from both the offense and defense saw them clinch the trophy for the first time.
Skipper Maninder Singh and Mohammad Nabibakhsh led the troops with sheer confidence, and the corner duo of Baldev Singh & Rinku Narwal formed a rock-solid corner pair for them to cross the winning line last season.
However, the Warriors opted to release Baldev Singh from their squad ahead of the PKL Auction 2021. Abozar Mighani, the first player to go under the hammer from the overseas category in this year's auction, got picked by the Bengal Warriors for PKL 8.
Abozar Mighani has been a mainstay in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) since his debut for the Gujarat Giants in Season 5. Known for his dangerous tackles with lightning speed, the 32-year-old is also good with his back holds and dives with his beastly strength. His technique is all about power and the ability to capitalize on the mistakes made by the opposition raider.
Abozar Mighani stamped his authority in his maiden season, scoring 65 tackle points and finishing as the fifth-best defender in the PKL 5. His efficiency on the mat saw the Gujarat Giants head into the final on their PKL debut.
He moved to the Telugu Titans in the next two seasons, where he had a decent run with 95 tackle points in 39 matches and five High-5s. The Titans also appointed Abozar as their captain last season under the guidance of Gholamreza Mazandarani.
Sportskeeda caught up with Abozar Mighani in an exclusive chat as he spoke about how he feels about partnering with Rtoku Narwal, his approach to playing with Mohammad Nabibakhsh for the Bengal Warriors, his improvement in the sport during the COVID lockdown, and a lot more.
Excerpts from Abozar Mighani’s exclusive interview with Sportskeeda:
You'll be representing the Bengal Warriors this year, where you will be playing with your fellow Iranian Mohammad Nabibakhsh. How are you feeling about this?
Abozar Mighani: I am elated to join last season's champions Bengal Warriors. I have played with Nabibakhsh in the Iran Kabaddi League as well. We have also played international tournaments together for Iran for so many years. Now that we are matched together, I look forward to reuniting with him.
The Pro Kabaddi League will return after a gap of more than two years because of the COVID-19 outbreak. How has time been for you?
Abozar Mighani: I missed playing in the PKL during this outbreak. We couldn't play the game in our home country as well because of the lockdown. It was tough for both the players as well as the fans to miss out on the sport for such a long time.
Now that the PKL is back, we will all shine stronger than before. The eighth season will be a memorable one.
How are you looking forward to partnering with Rinku Narwal in the corners? Have you noticed his gameplay before?
Abozar Mighani: Rinku is a brilliant left corner. He played a vital role in winning the title for the Bengal Warriors last season. He is good to watch when it comes to ankle holds and can support really well.
I am excited to work with him this year. If we both can work as a corner combination, Bengal Warriors would be unbeatable because our raiders are very good.
During the lockdown period, have you added any skills to your arsenal? Will we get to see a new Abozar Mighani in PKL Season 8?
Abozar Mighani: Yes, I have trained a lot along with the boys back in Iran. I have focused on adding new skills, which will help me in my defensive gameplay in the upcoming tough seasons ahead.
You will see a new Abozar for the Bengal Warriors this season. I'm 100% sure that I will do my level best for the team and contribute in every way possible.
What do you think about the Bengal Warriors overall squad for PKL 8? What are the team's strengths heading into next season?
Abozar Mighani: I feel that if a team wins a title in the PKL, the team management also plays an important role in it. The think tank and the coaches help the team in achieving their goals. They have shaped a really exciting team this year.
I feel the Bengal Warriors have a good offensive unit with Maninder Singh, Rishank Devadiga and Sukesh Hegde in the squad. I look forward to playing for the Bengal Warriors and helping the side in defending their title.