Pro Kabaddi: Amidst dark times, local boy Pravin Niwale keeping Puneri Paltan’s pride intact
Pune has been a site of great historical importance of the country and has had a reputation of producing the land’s greatest lion-hearts, thinkers and artists. Pune, the bastion of the Marathas might have lost its importance politically in the modern era, but the Maratha pride still remains intact and is much celebrated among its citizens.
After finishing the season 1 of Pro Kabaddi at the very bottom, Puneri Paltan promised a plenty in the buildup to the league’s second edition. But, little has changed for the Pune outfit. With six defeats in seven in, Pune are still at the bottom of the pile and seeking for inspiration from somewhere as their hopes of a semi-final berth are withering away by the minute.
Amidst the torrid times, and the Maratha Pride at stake, one of the sons of the soil seems to have taken up the gauntlet of keeping the pride and passion of the city afloat. As skipper Wazir Singh’s influence slowly faded away thanks to an injury, local lad Pravin Niwale has been seen filling the boots and earning his plaudits.
Helping Pune to its solitary victory by notching up nine raid points against the Bengal Warriors, Niwale has continued his dream run by adding another sixteen in the two games that followed. Unfortunately, the Paltans couldn’t convert it into winning performances as they narrowly missed out on crucial wins.
A lot of criticism was levied on Pravin early on in the tournament for not living up to his reputation, but Niwale has answered all his critics superbly by timing his upturn in form perfectly, more so for his city and its pride.
Pravin Niwale wants to inspire kids
Niwale’s exploits have helped Pune remain in contention as they continued to chip away the odd point in games taking their tally to ten points, ten short of the qualifying places. With the home leg still to play, and local boy Pravin Niwale on song, there could still be a light at the end of the Puneri Paltan tunnel.
Living in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area just on the outskirts of the main city, Pravin Niwale’s contribution goes beyond just helping his side in the present time. The Indian raider has taken the responsibility to develop the sport in the city and runs an academy where he personally trains young kids.
“When I am in Pune, I train with the kids twice in the day. I share my experience with them so that one day they can make the country proud. The Pro Kabaddi League is a great platform for the players and I want these kids to play for Puneri Paltan and bring glory to it,” said the South Asian Championship Gold Medal winner.
The dark times are refusing to go away for the Puneri Paltan, but Pravin Niwale is shining brightly thus providing the Paltan with a ray of hope for the road ahead.