Pro Kabaddi League franchise Puneri Paltan on Saturday appointed former India captain Anup Kumar as their new head coach. The 35-year-old retired from the sport after the conclusion of the sixth season and is now looking forward to turn the tables and step onto the other side of the mat in a new role.
Kumar, who is looking forward to make an impact in his first stint as a coach, said that fitness and skills will be his primary focus. “Kabaddi is my first love and I have given everything for the sport. As a coach, this will be my first stint and I will concentrate on improving our team’s skills, fitness, and presence of mind on the mat. I am looking forward to working with Puneri Paltan, as a coach, in Vivo PKL Season 7,” the former India skipper said.
— Puneri Paltan (@PuneriPaltan) 6 April 2019
Kumar bagged a gold medal in his international debut back in 2006 at the South Asian Games. Under his leadership team, India also secured gold medals in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games. He also led his side to the 2016 World Cup glory and helped to strengthen India’s position as the leading force in kabaddi.
The 35-year-old was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2012 for his invaluable contribution towards the sport.
Kailash Kandpal, the CEO of Puneri Paltan, feels that the immense experience of Kumar will help his side to implement new tactics in the upcoming season. “Anup is vastly experienced in the PKL format and known for his cool and calm composure. We are banking on his expertise to implement new tactics this season for our team,” he said.
The auction for the seventh season is scheduled to be held on April 8 and 9 in Mumbai. A total of 12 teams will be in the fray in the upcoming season and is expected to begin from July 19.