CNMSports - With Pro Kabaddi League 2015 starting from 18th July, our correspondent Vishal Bhagat discussed the game prepeartion with 'U Mumba' team Captain Anup Kumar. Below are the highlights of this exclusive interview
On the team preparation for upcoming Pro Kabaddi League 2015?
Anup Kumar - Team is looking forward to the upcoming season of Pro Kabaddi League. Special emphasis is being given on the fitness area and players are working hard to stay fit.
U Mumba first match is with Jaipur Pink Panthers. Any pressure as your last encounter with them was Pro Kabaddi 2014 final where U Mumba lost the match?
Anup Kumar - Not really. Infact pressure would be on Jaipur Pink Panthers as they will play the first match on our home ground. Team is working hard under the guidance of our coach Ravi Shetty. Our coach is working on different strategies and entire focus is to avoid mistakes we committed last year.
What went wrong last year in the final?
Anup Kumar - I think we had played brilliantly in season 1. It was just one bad day. We committed few mistakes in the final but the important thing is that we have now learned our weak spots and working on them. We suffered few fitness issues last year and working specially on this area.
On how Pro Kabaddi League changed the game scenario in India?
Anup Kumar - The game has changed since the inception of Pro Kabaddi League 2014. Now corporates have also started associating with the game which was missing earlier. People have now started following the game on TV and its gaining popularity. I wish that Kabaddi should be included in Rio Olympics 2016
On Women's Pro Kabaddi League?
Anup Kumar - I am strongly in favour of Women's Pro Kabaddi League and waiting for the day when this will be launched. Kabaddi is becoming popular and its expansion will certaily take the game to new heights.
Corporates Association with Kabaddi World Cup?
Anup Kumar - Corporates played an important role in making the Pro Kabaddi 2014 a highly successful event. I not only want corporates to come forward for sponsoring Kabaddi World Cup but also wish that Kabaddi federation should endorse celebrity for an ad to make this game more popular. I am sure this will increase the viewers for the game.
On leading 'U Mumba'?
Anup Kumar - To commit mistake is natural but to learn from mistakes is what matters to me. I never say anything to players during the match as everyone is aware of his role. I only want my players to stay fit and give their best.
On 'U Mumba' Fanbase?
Anup Kumar - We are happy to have a huge fan base who supported us last year and expecting the same this year as well. Its their unconditional love and support that motivate us to do well.
Vishal Bhagat (CNMSports)