For the second time in four days, Sushil Kumar’s debut at the Pro Wrestling League was postponed. He did not take part in the Delhi Sultans’ second game against Haryana Hammers on Friday, citing a “knee injury”. The two-time Olympic medallist said the doctor has advised him two days’ rest to avoid aggravating the injury which he sustained while training on Thursday.
On the first day of the league, Sushil’s category was “blocked” by Sakshi Malik, captain of the opposing team Mumbai Maharathis. The costliest wrestler in the history of the league, having being picked for Rs 55 lakh, was supposed to wrestle 2017 World Championships silver medallist Kethig Tsabolov of Russia on Friday but was replaced by Vinod Kumar. Kumar eventually lost to Tsabolov 10-0.
Sushil pulling out of the bout against Tsabolov came as a big surprise for the fans who had come to the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi. On Friday, the PWL season three witnessed one of its best attendances but many had to return disappointed after India’s star wrestler was not on the bout list. At the end of the day, Delhi lost to Haryana 5-2 in the best-of-seven bouts.
“I don’t know what happens to my luck just a day before the bout. I have bad luck before my bouts that I get injured. I think prayers will help me,” Sushil said during an interaction between the bouts.
Since his competitive comeback in November last year, this bout was expected to be Sushil’s biggest test given that Tsabolov is a two-time Russia champion and a former world champion at 70kg. Even the Russian was disappointed that he could not wrestle Sushil. “I was expecting Sushil to wrestle with me as he is a two-time Olympic medallist and a bout with him would have been a big test for me. It’s just unfortunate that he got an injury,” Tsabolov said.
If Sushil does get fit in two days time, he is expected to wrestle Jitender of UP Dangal on Monday.