Bengal Warriors are sitting pretty on top of Zone B with 10 wins from the 20 matches they have played so far. An impressive display at home, led by their defenders and star raider Maninder Singh, has seen the Warriors rise steadily through their campaign and ensure their playoffs berth. However, one man who has been Bengal’s unsung hero is senior all-rounder Ran Singh. His 54 points from the 19 matches he has played so far may not be much but Ran has consistently held up his end in defence and provided able support to captain Surjeet Singh with his strong dashes. In an exclusive interview with prokabaddi.com, Ran shared details of his journey from standard-style kabaddi to circle style and back, the challenges he faced in his kabaddi career and even dispensed some fitness advice from his own experiences. Excerpts from the interview are here.
Tell us how kabaddi started for you.
I started playing kabaddi in school and then I played for the under-14 teams. Later I got a job in the Punjab Police department. After being selected for Pro Kabaddi I didn’t play in the first five matches of the first season. After that I was selected later by the Jaipur team and then I got a two-year agreement and from there my actual journey began.
You have played circle kabaddi before. Tell us about that experience.
Circle kabaddi is played in the mud and the size of the ground is much larger than it is in standard style. Circle kabaddi requires a lot more power and standard-style kabaddi requires a lot more skill. In Punjab we play circle kabaddi a lot more than standard-style kabaddi. I used to play standard kabaddi when I was a kid but after getting a job in Punjab Police I shifted to circle kabaddi.
Any memorable moment from your kabaddi journey...
In the first season of Pro Kabaddi I was a part of the team that won the trophy. That is the most memorable moment for me.
As a kabaddi player, what were the challenges you faced?
Making a career in kabaddi is not as tough now as it used to be but players need to be wary of small injuries as they can impact one’s performance on the mat. Another problem for me was my weight because of which I needed to give extra focus to my fitness in order to lose weight.
Do you have any fitness advice for the young players who follow you?
Fitness is very important for a kabaddi player. They need to be very fit and strong to play this sport. Proper exercise in the gym and having a proper diet are very important. Speed and skills are very important on the mat and both of these require the player to be extremely fit.
Any advice you have for young kabaddi players...
Pro Kabaddi has reached a higher level than anyone could have imagined a few years ago. I want the youngsters of today to perform well and make their names in this sport since they have an opportunity now.
Tell us something that the fans may not know about you.
I love to spend time with my family whenever I’m back home. I love children and I enjoy playing with the kids in my village and when I’m not playing kabaddi I play volleyball.
You are at the top of Zone B right now. Do you have any message for the fans?
Our home leg was very good for us. Our fans supported us a lot through all our games so I just want to thank them.