Sachin Tawar: 10 things you need to know about Gujarat Fortunegiants’ young sensation
“Good players inspire themselves. Great players inspire others,”
The identity of the aforementioned quote may not be known, but there’s no doubting its authenticity. There have been countless occasions when players have raised their game by inspiring themselves, but only a select few have managed to inspire an entire team to achieve greatness.
Although the sport of kabaddi is one of the oldest sports known to mankind, its inclusion in mainstream sports has been quite recent. With the advent of the Pro Kabaddi League, we’ve seen plenty of heroes emerge from all backgrounds. However, not many, if any, have shown maturity and greatness at the age of 18 as Gujarat Fortunegiants’ youngster Sachin Tawar.
The teenager has become the face of the Fortunegiants, galvanising his team to the top of the table, ahead of other established teams like Puneri Paltan, U Mumba, Dabang Delhi and Jaipur Pink Panthers. The aura with which he plays has rubbed off on his teammates and everyone is seen playing with a spring in their step when Sachin is on the mat – akin to the Indian team with another Sachin in another sport.
What powers the youngster? How has he come into prominence in such a short time? Where was he hiding all this while?
Everyone who has been following the fifth season of the PKL has been asking these questions. Let’s take a look at 10 things about Sachin Tawar that would help us answer some of these queries:
1) Sachin was born into an agricultural family in the small village of Badbar in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan on 19th July, 1999.
2) The 18-year-old picked up the sport at a tender age of 12 after getting inspired by watching others in the village play kabaddi. Like his namesake, Sachin’s brother also had a major hand in encouraging him to pursue the sport.
“When I was a kid, my elder brother used to play kabaddi and he encouraged me to become a raider. He is a national level player himself and works in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF),” recalled Sachin.
3) Aged 16, he was handpicked to train at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It was this period which honed him as a player and taught him the nuances of living like an athlete.
“I learnt everything at SAI. I honed my skills there and it was there where I was taught how important it is to be disciplined, practice on time and concentrate on diet,” Sachin confessed.
4) The stint at SAI helped him make his way into the Indian Junior Kabaddi team, which he has gone on to captain. As the captain, Sachin led the team to a gold medal at the Asian Junior Kabaddi Championships held in Tehran, Iran. Standing atop the podium has been, according to him, his most memorable moment in his relatively short career.
5) At Rs. 36 lakhs, Sachin is the most expensive teenager to be bought in the PKL auction in the history of the league. Gujarat Fortunegiants had to break a record to recruit the Junior Indian Kabaddi captain, but he has, so far, proven to be worth the outlay.
“I am grateful to everyone who put their faith in me by bidding such a high amount for me in the auction and especially Manpreet Sir (coach) who has worked closely with me to help me improve my game,” a thankful Sachin retorted on being quizzed about becoming the most expensive teenager in Kabaddi history.
6) Apart from the Gujarat Fortunegiants and the Junior Indian Kabaddi team, Sachin represents the Rajasthan Kabaddi team in national-level tournaments while he is a member of the Vande Mataram club, domestically.
7) His idol is none other than former India captain and 3-time Asian Games gold medallist, Rakesh Kumar.
8) His favourite move on the kabaddi mat is the ‘Hand Touch’.
9) Sachin considers Surender Nada the toughest defender he has had to face competitively.
The teenage sensation elaborated, “Surender Nada is definitely the toughest player I’ve gone up against. However, the seniors in the Gujarat team have always guided me when I’m up against defenders of his calibre. Fazel (Atrachali), Abozar (Mighani), and Sukesh (Hegde) constantly give me advice when I’m on the mat, telling me not to expose myself to the experienced defenders as they are experts at ankle holds and other moves.”
10) “I want to play for the Senior Indian Kabaddi team,” Sachin revealed when quizzed about his dream. With the way things are going, it won’t be long before he is rubbing shoulders with India’s best players in the international scenario.
Ever since he was thrown into the deep end of the Pro Kabaddi League, Sachin has performed admirably and taken to it like a fish to water. With 111 raid points and 8 tackle points in just 15 matches, Sachin has led from the front as Gujarat Fortunegiants have surprised everyone this season. The 18-year-old has been touted as the next big thing to come out of Rajasthan, and so far, has lived up to the billing. Long may it continue!