Rinku is the youngest captain of the Pro Kabaddi League.
Rinku from U Mumba has been one of the most talented youngsters in PKL season 9 and was recently given the additional responsibility of captainship after Surender Singh got injured thus becoming the youngest captain in the history of Pro Kabaddi League. To date, Rinku has scored 55 tackle points from 18 matches and occupies the 6th spot in the tackle points table.
Rinku became a sensation in the last season (8) when he succeeded in tackling Sachin with a solo tackle which no other defender has done in the PKL.
Thoughts on becoming the youngest captain in the history of PKL
I am feeling happy about captaining U Mumba at a young age and will try my best to lead the side well.
Did you feel any extra pressure after taking over the captaincy from Surinder Singh in the mid-season?
No, I do not feel any pressure but have added responsibility. Before I would make advance tackles and get out at times but now have to be careful while making crucial tackles as my presence on the mat is important.
Could you brief us on the solo tackle you performed on Sachin Tawar after Harendra got out?
Yes, Harendra Kumar was self out and there were still eight to nine seconds left on the clock. I did not want to waste time and made a successful tackle. I felt very happy as no one in the history of PKL has created this record and it was surreal.
I belong to a village in the Sonepat district of Haryana and there are many senior players who have emerged from this place like Joginder Narwal, Pardeep Narwal, and Rakesh Narwal. I started playing Kabaddi in 2012 and the main sport in our village is Kabaddi. In 2014 I got selected to play in the U16 National Championships and since then have been playing the Nationals continuously.
Impact of Pro Kabaddi on player’s life
Pro Kabaddi has given a different dimension to many. Earlier the sport was only played in mud but now we get to play on the mat frequently. Also previously many used to play the sport for securing jobs but now many have become popular with good fame and money due to PKL.
Impact of Khelo India Youth and University Games
Khelo India has a good impact on youngsters’ careers as they see it as a platform to get into the PKL teams. This year Narender Kandola has been a good find who played the KIYG and was drafted to Tamil Thalaivas.
What was the thinking going on after the auction of PKL with the team majorly consisting of youngsters?
Yes, we have a young squad and all are extremely talented in terms of experience there is only Surender Singh who has played 4-5 seasons before. Overall we did not have much pressure and are playing freely.
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Any impact of experienced Fazel Atrachali leaving U Mumba this season?
Fazel Atrachali played an important role when he was with U Mumba last season as all the raiders would focus on him to not get tackled but this season it has totally changed with everyone putting equal contributions.
Who is your idol in Kabaddi and your favourite player?
My idol is Joginder Narwal and Kuldeep Singh. I have heard of their names in the past and started playing the game. As of now Fazel Atrachali is my favourite and will look to perform in a similar manner.
Your goals going forward
The most tackle in a single match was recently broken by Shadlu from Patna Pirates and I will soon look to break that record along with winning the orange armband for the most tackle points.