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Pardeep Narwal carrying Sonepat's kabaddi legacy forward

28.83K   //    12 Feb 2016, 17:33 IST
Pardeep Narwal Pro Kabaddi Patna Pirates
Pardeep Narwal

Sonepat, a small town in Haryana might not be the first thing to appear on the map of India, but when it comes to the sport of kabaddi, it is widely considered to be the national capital. A treasure of kabaddi talent, Sonepat has dished out more medallists for the sport than any other state over the years and nothing seems to be changing on that front anytime soon.

Surjeet Narwal and Ravinder Pahal are the two players from Sonepat, that have already made a name for themselves in the first two seasons of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League, but Season 3 has belonged to the new star of Sonepat, Patna Pirates’ Pardeep Narwal.

Pardeep: How I overcame Manjeet

At the age of just 18, Pardeep Narwal has already taken the league by the storm. But, the youngster seemed at the peak of his powers when he was up against a fellow Haryanvi Manjeet Chhillar and his Puneri Paltan side.

Narwal took Manjeet Chhillar out of the equation in his very first raid before forcing an all-out on the Puneri Paltan. In his sixteen raids in the game, Pardeep Narwal was only tackled thrice while being successful in seven of those raids, one of which was a stunning super raid just before the interval.

The 18-year-old looked slightly overwhelmed when he spoke to Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview. But the youngster couldn’t hide his delight at dismissing Manjeet Chhillar more than once in the game.

“I am feeling great. It was good to dismiss Manjeet more than once in the game. I am happy that I was able to help the team today,” a slightly shy Pardeep Narwal said as he just about gathered his wits for what seemed his first ever interview.

“My coach kept on telling me before the game, be careful of Manjeet, he is the danger man. Try and get him out, but be careful. I think the coach has showed great faith in me and taught me so much. I put my success only down to him,” a humble Pardeep Narwal added.

Pardeep Narwal, who is the second most successful raider in the league, with 47 raid points revealed that being in Bengaluru Bulls last season and knowing Manjeet Chhillar since the childhood helped him get the better of the Puneri Paltan captain. “I know Manjeet since I was small and having played with him in Bengaluru Bulls, I knew his game well. So I was able to play him well,” Narwal told Sportskeeda.

Pardeep Narwal Bengal Warriors Nitin Tomar Patna Pirates Pro Kabaddi
Nitin Tomar (R) unsuccessfully tries to hold on to the effervescent Pardeep Narwal

How Pardeep started playing kabaddi

Rolling back a few years, Pardeep Narwal shared how he started playing kabaddi and spoke about his coach and uncle who trained him to become the player he is today.

“I don’t even remember when I first played kabaddi. From what I remember from my childhood, I have always been playing kabaddi. Sonepat is crazy about the game and all the kids play kabaddi there,” recalled Pardeep Narwal.

As he tried to laugh off claims of being the new kabaddi sensation in Sonepat, he did admit that the whole village glues itself to the television sets when he plays.

“Kabaddi is very big in Sonepat, so I am sure that everyone back home watches every second that I play. They also want me to do well so that I can inspire more kids to play kabaddi from Sonepat,” Narwal said.

At 18, Pardeep Narwal has his best years ahead of him. As he continues to not just raid the opponents, but also the fans’ hearts, Pardeep Narwal is keeping Sonepat’s legacy going. From what he is already doing on the court, it seems Pardeep Narwal could be Sonepat’s torch-bearer for some time to come.

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