Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi saw the addition of four new teams, one of which is Haryana Steelers, who have more than just held their own against the established powerhouses. A conveyor-belt of talent in the league, Haryana’s participation with a team of its own was long overdue and it’s safe to say that the side hasn’t disappointed their passionate fans in what’s their debut season.

Local boy Surjeet Singh has played a pivotal role in his side’s fortunes this season and is marvelling at the fact that VIVO Pro Kabaddi has finally reached one of its spiritual homes Haryana. “I am very happy about it [Haryana’s inclusion in Pro Kabaddi]. It’s a new team and I would like to thank those who made this team. I think kabaddi is played more in Haryana than any other place. Before Pro Kabaddi also there were a lot of people who played kabaddi but because of Pro kabaddi it has reached everywhere,” Singh told recently in an exclusive interview.

He added: “I have played here since childhood. I am happy that I am playing for my home team and I have the confidence to do well.There is some pressure as well playing for your home team but it depends on the mind-set of the players.”

On how it all began for him as well as making it to the glitz and glamour of Pro Kabaddi, Singh said: “I started playing kabaddi first in school. My elder brother used to take me to the stadium to watch the matches. First, I played for fun and then I got to know that by playing kabaddi you get a lot of fame and people recognise you. So, then I started focusing more on the sport.”

The raider also praised Haryana Steelers’ ability not to rely too heavily on any one individual in the team. “It is one of the best things of the team that we don’t rely on one player. We don’t think of individual performance. We want the entire team to get ahead and this is the reason we are successful,” said Singh before shedding light on his return from injury, “I couldn’t play well in the beginning because of a leg injury. The coach has told me to take it easy. So, I am trying to regain my form slowly and steadily.”