By Niharika Raina
Mumbai, Aug 28 (IANS) Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) star raider Pardeep Narwal said that his responsibility has been to be up to date and relevant in the game. Ahead of the PKL auctions, Narwal has been released by Patna Pirates, his team for the last five seasons.
“I believe every day is a new learning day, and there is always scope of improvement. I have continuously evolved my techniques and skills, and that is something I continue to do. How differently can I raid? How can I keep the opponent defenders on their toes? How competitive can I get — these are the things I have always looked for answers to. My commitment is to keep my game up to date and relevant,” said Narwal in an interview with IANS.
The eighth season of the Pro Kabaddi League will return in December after a long break enforced by COVID-19. Though Patna Pirates can get him back by using the Final Bid Match card, Narwal is excited about being in the auctions.
“It has been a great stint with the Patna Pirates, and I have learned a lot under the guidance of the coach and management. I am looking forward to the auction, and positive that I will return in Season 8 with the same enthusiasm and excitement”
Narwal, the two-time MVP, has been touted to trigger a fierce war for the highest bid ever in the auction. With so much pressure on him, Narwal speaks about how he keeps his calm on the mat.
“A raider needs to have a good presence of mind and quick thinking. When I step in to raid, I am always calm. Getting paranoid never helps me. My concentration is to make sure I use the right skill and techniques against the defender and come back safe into my half-court.”
The lockdown due to the virus caused problems for many people. But Narwal ensured he maintained his fitness and kept the motivation high in times of uncertainty.
“My training consisted of strength training, high jumps, running, and meditation. Despite the pandemic, I made sure to exercise daily and maintain my fitness. At home, we tend to eat and not exercise. I made it a point to exercise daily at least for an hour. As a kabaddi player, fitness is extremely important to make sure our body is agile and receives correct nutrition.
“Motivation has always been to continue playing kabaddi, for which I needed to always stay fit. Pro Kabaddi League is returning, and I am looking forward to getting back on the mat. The training, exercising and all the hard work will be seen on the mat very soon.”
Known for his ‘dubki’ move, where the raider ducks low to evade defenders, Narwal says he will bring the famous move to the mat. “I try to ‘dubki’ daily. You will soon see me ‘dubki’ on the mat.”
With sporting events happening in bio-bubbles, Narwal feels blessed about playing the sport in a safe environment. Asked about his target for the season, Narwal said, “PKL returning with Season 8 is a benchmark for all indoor sports and leagues. I am blessed to have this platform where I get to showcase my talent and play kabaddi. My goal is to continue to play the sport I have always loved and try new skills and techniques. I am currently at 1160 raid points. I am looking forward to break my own record this season.”
The Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar will air the PKL Season 8 auctions live on August 30 at 6:30 pm.