Jaipur Pink Panthers captain, VIVO Prokabaddi season VI and Indian kabaddi legend Anup Kumar announced his retirement from the sport before his side's home match against Gujarat Fortunegiants on Thursday.
A master of the Toe Touch and the Bonus ka Badshah ranks among the top 10 raiders in VIVO Pro Kabaddi with more than 500 raid points to his name. He has also captained U Mumba to three VIVO Pro Kabaddi finals, winning the crown in Season 2. His leadership style, which was a mix of controlled aggression, and his icy-cool demeanour on the mat earned him the moniker of Captain Cool.
"It is well recognized that VIVO Pro Kabaddi has had a profound impact on the emergence of the sport on the global stage. Anup has played such a crucial role and a distinguished role in the process," Goswami pointed out. "He has established himself as a role model by his sportsman spirit, by the competitiveness of his captaincy as well as his play.
"He will continue to impress kabaddi players for a long time. I am sure that this retirement decision of his career relates only to him as a player and he will continue his engagement and involvement with kabaddi in various roles. In that process as well, I am sure he will emerge as role model for kabaddi players."
A stalwart of the sport who has delighted with his gameplay for a decade and a half, Anup Kumar’s name is sure to live on in kabaddi for many years to come.
Ronnie Screwvala, team owner U Mumba, said, “He is one of the smartest and intelligent players in kabaddi. He gets his sense of timing on the field and I think he gets his timing when he is looking at his own career off the field as well."
"I think Anup Kumar is one of the greatest sportsmen India has ever had," remarked Jaipur Pink Panthers owner Abhishek Bachchan. "He is grounded, humble, extremely polite and always there for his peers, especially the younger athletes, and this is what everyone should pick up. I think young players should make their own style, and not try to copy Anup, because there is only one Anup."