Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: 10 things you need to know about Rohit Kumar
Boisterous raider Rohit Kumar announced himself to the world at the third season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, which was also his debut season in the tournament. It took him a while to join the league, which comes as a boon for the indigenous sport of kabaddi, but when his time came, the 26-year-old grabbed his chance with both hands.
Playing for the Patna Pirates in the third edition, he became the first player after Anup Kumar in 2014 to win the MVP award in his debut season. As he has only been on the circuit for one season, there are a lot of things people don’t know about this energetic raider.
Here are 10 things that you need to know about Rohit Kumar:
1. Rohit Kumar was born on 19th January 1990 in Nizampur, Haryana, a place which is called the hotbed of kabaddi due to the village’s impact on the sport and the national team. Despite the scarcity of proper coaches to train the young players, Manjeet Chhillar, Mohit Chhillar, Rakesh Kumar and more learned their trade in Nizampur and have made the country proud.
“We were just kids when senior players like Manjeet Chhillar and Rakesh Kumar used to train in Nizampur. They used to teach the junior players the basics of the game. Seeing them excel in the sport gave me the confidence to achieve something similar in the world of kabaddi.”
2. The 26-year-old has kabaddi to thank for getting admitted in the Naval Forces in 2009 through the sports quota. With the Naval base being in Mumbai, Rohit didn’t need a second invitation to move to the city of dreams as he dreamed of meeting Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.
3. Rohit could have made his debut in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi in Season 1 itself when U Mumba selected him. However, as fate would have it, the Services Sports Controlled Board (SSCB) refused to release him and the tournament had to wait to witness Rohit Kumar’s magic.
4. It was in the 3rd season that the Services Board allowed Rohit and the other players to take part in the league and Patna Pirates swooped in to secure his signature. And what an inspiring signing he turned out to be. He led Patna Pirates to the title by scoring a massive 102 raid points in just 12 matches. Subsequently, he was adjudged the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the season to join an elite group of players like Anup Kumar (1st season) and Manjeet Chhillar (2nd season) to win the prestigious award.
5. Midway through the third season, Rohit Kumar fulfilled his father’s prophecy when he was drafted in to represent India at the 2016 South Asian Games (SAG). The tournament, which was held in Guwahati and Shillong, was his maiden call-up to the national team set-up. Despite making his debut with the Indian team, Rohit didn’t get overawed by the situation and helped India win the gold medal – their 8th overall in SAG history.
“My dad had this dream about me that one day I will go on and represent my nation.”
6. For Rohit, the joy did not stop after winning the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi title, as right after the culmination of the final, then Pirates captain and good friend Manpreet Singh announced that the newly crowned MVP will be tying the knot soon. A visibly-embarrassed Rohit confirmed the news and a couple of weeks after, he got hitched to Baveri, a school teacher by profession.
7. One love that Rohit has been open about is his deep affection for Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar. By his own admission, he is obsessed with Akki, as the actor is fondly called. His obsession has seen him get Akshay Kumar’s face inked on his arm along with his birthday while he has “Akki” tattooed below his neck.
“He has been my idol for a long time now. The amount of hard work he has done to achieve these great heights in the film industry is extraordinary. He had no family relations in the film industry before joining it, he had his struggles and he overcame all that with his hard work. I try to emulate that whenever I am on the mat playing kabaddi, though I have not met him in person yet!”
8. The highs of Season 3 took him to Bengaluru Bulls for the ongoing season. The Bulls had a poor outing in the third edition after reaching the semis and final in the first and second seasons, respectively. He was part of 15 players from the Services Sports Controlled Board who were picked in the draw ahead of Season 4.
9. He jointly also holds the record for scoring the highest number of Super 10s in Season 3, along with then-teammate Pardeep Narwal. Rohit scored 10 or more points in 5 out of the 12 matches he played, the joint highest in the third edition of the tournament. He eventually ended with 102 raid points to win the MVP award.
10. Despite making his Pro Kabaddi debut in Season 3, Rohit Kumar is the top scorer in the Bengaluru Bulls squad. With a total of 172 points, he finds himself narrowly ahead of record buy, Mohit Chhillar, who has 154 points to his name. Bengaluru Bulls captain Surender Nada completes the top 3 with 141 points.
Interestingly, Rohit’s 172 points came in just 20 matches, while Mohit and Surender took 51 and 44, respectively to reach their total. The team is bound to get points by the dozen whenever Rohit takes to the mat as he averages over 8.5 points per match.