Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Pirates coach opens up about why Gujarat coach, Manpreet Singh, was dropped from Patna team last season
One sensed this could boil over at any point. Gujarat Fortunegiants coach, Manpreet Singh, was pushing buttons, attempting to get under his opponent's skin before the final. Every time he had the opportunity to speak, he chose to sting Patna Pirates with some hard-hitting words.
At one point, he even suggested Patna would be an extremely easy opponent to face in the final. What transpired was completely the opposite. Pirates coach, Ram Mehar Singh pulled off a tactical masterclass, as Patna thumped Gujarat 55-38 to make it a hat-trick of titles.
Singh, who usually chooses his words carefully, decided to let loose after the game. He accepted that it was difficult for him to keep quiet all this while, even when Manpreet constantly threw jibes at him and his side.
However, Patna's coach made some stunning revelations about Gujarat's coach who was also a Patna Pirates player in season 4. The Pirates decided to terminate Manpreet's contract last year.
It was widely viewed that Manpreet's experience was key to their title-winning performance last season. However, at an individual level, Singh failed to deliver and this led to his ouster. Ram Mehar explained why Manpreet was released from the side.
"Manpreet was sitting at home for three years, doing nothing. When I was the captain of the Indian team in 2002 at the Asian Games, he was my junior. I thought I should give him a chance in the Pro Kabaddi League," he said.
"But he couldn't perform well. He conceded too many points. We still won the championship in season 4. Our owner decided not to retain him as a player, but I requested the owner to give him a coaching role. He said no. Even the other eight teams refused to pick him. He believes he was treated wrongly," he added.
Ram Mehar even went on to suggest that Manpreet had nothing to do with Gujarat's team selection this year. He said that it was Jaivir Singh, kabaddi coach at the Sports Association of India (SAI) who put a team together for the Fortunegiants after the Kabaddi World Cup last year.
It was there that Jaivir saw Fazel and Abozar playing, following which he decided to acquire their services for season 5. Patna's coach revealed that he spent numerous sleepless nights after Gujarat beat his side in the league stage, but when it mattered the most, the Pirates delivered and he could not have asked for a better ending to his tumultuous journey.