Ask the Patna Pirates captain Pardeep Narwal about his performances or the fact that he is thought to be one of the most dominating raiders the game of kabaddi has ever seen and you will most likely not get more than a shy smile and, if you are lucky, a faint “Thank you”. If you go by his rather timid off field personality, you could be excused for thinking of Narwal as a youngster still trying to find his feet in the kabaddi world.
However, on the field this swift-footed raider turns into one of the most destructive forces in the kabaddi world. He has single-handedly rescued his side, Patna Pirates, from certain defeat on a number of occasions by taking out opposition players by the handful and is currently the second most successful raider in VIVO Pro Kabaddi, narrowly trailing Raid Machine Rahul Chaudhari, who has played two entire seasons more than young Narwal.
Hailing from Sonepat, Haryana, one of the hotbeds of kabaddi in India, Narwal’s interest in the game started off while watching the other big names from the state’s rich kabaddi legacy, such as Anup Kumar and Manjeet Chhillar, in action. Little did the youngster know that he would one day be counted among the big names hailing from the state. His VIVO Pro Kabaddi debut came in Season 3 for Patna Pirates and he went straight to the top of the season’s rankings as the top-scoring raider. His signature move, the Dubki, took opponents by surprise and the raider could slip through the opposition defence before they knew what hit them. It became clear that this young kid from Sonepat was on his way to the big time.
The boy with a magic touch soon matured into one of the most effective raiders in the history of VIVO Pro Kabaddi over the next three seasons. Defenders failed to crack the enigma that was Pardeep Narwal, and every time someone came close the Dubki King would pull another new trick out of his seemingly bottomless hat. He went on to become the Most Valuable Player in his second season with the Pirates, outclassing the likes of Rahul Chaudhari, Deepak Hooda and Rohit Kumar. With skills like the jump, running hand touch and toe touch in his arsenal, Narwal became much more than just the king of the Dubki.
From swabbing the deck as a young rookie, Narwal soon rose through the ranks and became captain of the ship in a relatively short time. Season 5, his captaincy debut, saw the Dubki King treating fans to his destructive best. He went on to break record after record and it became clear from the outset that he would emerge head and shoulders above any other raider in the league that season. Eventually he finished with 369 points, was the MVP yet again, and led his team to a hat-trick of VIVO Pro Kabaddi titles in just the fifth season of the league.
While it remains to be seen what heights this kabaddi prodigy will reach next, the Dubki King’s confidence in his abilities was clear from a Season 5 post-match quote on one of the rare occasions he spoke his mind.
"I break my own records," asserted the raider, "Even in the future, only Pardeep will break Pardeep’s records, no one else can."