The 36-year-old Indian legend took retirement from the game in 2018.
The cool and composed Anup Kumar is known for guiding the Indian National Kabaddi team to a historic World Cup win in 2016 as a captain. He has been a part of the prestigious Pro Kabaddi League since its inception, he joined the league as a player and now is the coach of the Puneri Paltan franchisee.
He has had an illustrious career as a player and now aims at training youngsters to do better for the sport. Anup Kumar has also actively performing his role of a Police Inspector for the Haryana Police Department and has been serving the nation during this tough period of COVID–19, urging people in his district to stay home and do their part as a citizen of the country.
While speaking about his police duty on vivo Pro Kabaddi’s weekly Instagram Live chat series ‘Beyond The Mat’, Anup said, “I have been posted in Rewari, Haryana and I try to go on duty as much as possible so that I can help out on – ground and convince people to stay at home. My only request to all is to follow the guidelines of the government and stay at home because that is the only way we can stop this problem.”
Anup Kumar credits his coaches from CRPF for helping him to excel in the game and start his Kabaddi career. His guidance has helped other players to improve their game and his cool & calm nature during tough situations helps him to take better decisions. He was a part of the Indian team which took part in many memorable tournaments including 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.
While speaking about India’s surprising loss to South Korea in 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, Anup Kumar said, “With every loss we learn a lesson, personally, I feel I made a couple of mistakes during the game which would have cost us the match, it was saddening but our coach never lost hope and kept motivating us. We played every game after that with more confidence and I knew that we had an outstanding team which could win the tournament”.
Anup Kumar’s inspiring career has been a motivation for many youngsters as they look up to him as role model because of his success in the game. He has been a great advocate of the game and tries to embed his qualities to his team. The former Indian captain believes in playing the game the right way, respecting the officials and not make hasty decisions during crucial moments.
He remarked, “Discipline always comes first, even if you are a great player, you need to be a good human being with a good nature. Youngsters nowadays are getting platforms like Pro Kabaddi League which we never had, the facilities have improved now but we have seen the hardships during our times and hence they have to make sure they are disciplined while playing the game. Keep doing hard work, aim to become a better player and if you play with a good heart and discipline, you will see more people admiring your game.”
Anup Kumar received love from different parts of the country while he was speaking on Instagram and fans poured in with their messages for the legend admiring his nature and career and what he has done for the country. He answered all questions of the fans and also clarified on the custom of players swearing by the mat during the game.
He explained, “You can call it a tradition of sorts, we used to see our seniors do it and then we followed them. The mat for all the players is like God and we respect the mat more than anything, so if a player has touched the defender and the defender denies it, swearing by the mat means he’s not lying and the defender might not have known due to different reasons, it is a sign of him saying that he is telling the truth.”
Anup is loved by all and his illustrious career as a kabaddi player for India is an example of the legacy he has left behind. A role model for youngsters, he has been a great example of a sports person guiding people in the right direction with his learnings.