The legendary player captained the Indian side in World Cup 2016 triumph.
Anup Kumar is a legendary Indian Kabaddi player who started his international career in 2006 and spanned over a decade. Haryana is one of the kabaddi hotspots in India and has produced several kabaddi stars in the past and is still producing many, the most recent being the dubki king Pardeep Narwal. Like others, he became a national icon upon the introduction of the Pro Kabaddi League and people across India started recognising him to be an excellent raider.
After performing well in the senior national championships he got his opportunity to represent India at the South Asian Games in 2006 and played his debut match against Sri Lanka. Also, Anup Kumar became a primary member of the squad and was part of the 2010 and 2014 gold medal-winning Asian Games sides. The star raider was conferred the Arjuna award in 2012 for his excellence in the sport.
He was the captain of the Indian team in the 2016 World Cup held in Ahmedabad, India 2016. India lost the first match to South Korea but made a great recovery winning the third World Cup and is the only country to win all the kabaddi World Cups. This was Anup Kumar’s last big win as a captain and then went on to retire in 2018.
Anup Kumar joined U Mumba in the inaugural edition of the Pro Kabaddi League and was also announced as the captain. Under his leadership, U Mumba finished runner-up in the first edition losing to Jaipur Pink Panthers but came back strongly in the second season winning the title. U Mumba reached the finals for the third successive time but lost to Patna Pirates in the finals by a close margin of two points.
After three successive seasons, Anup Kumar was retained by the franchise and played two more editions (4 and 5). He then parted ways and joined Jaipur Pink Panthers after being brought in the auctions for 30 lakhs. The sixth edition was his last in the PKL and retired in 2018.
Matches – 16 | Total points – 169
Matches – 14 | Total points – 81
Matches – 13 | Total points – 79
Matches – 14 | Total points – 82
Matches – 21 | Total points – 135
Matches – 13 | Total points – 50
Overall, Anup Kumar played a total of 91 matches scoring 591 points, and was also the first player to breach the 400 raid points mark.
The raider in his playing career was known for his bonus points and toe touch. Due to his extraordinary skills of taking bonus points, he is famously known as Bonus ka Badshah and was also nicknamed ‘Captain Cool’ for his presence of mind on the mat and sportsmanship.
After his retirement, he became the head coach of Puneri Paltan and introduced good talents like Aslam Inamdar.
Awards and Achievements
Gold Medal – 2010 and 2014 Asian Games
Gold Medal – 2016 World Cup
PKL champions in season 2 along with finishing runner-up twice
MVP (Most Valuable Player) in the inaugural edition of the Pro Kabaddi League
Most Raid Points (153) in the inaugural season of the PKL
Arjuna Award (2012)
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