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Kabaddi World Cup 2016: Haryana's Palra Village Comes to a Standstill Whenever Anup Kumar Plays

IBNLive Sports

Updated: October 18, 2016, 1:04 PM IST
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Kabaddi World Cup 2016: Haryana's Palra Village Comes to a Standstill Whenever Anup Kumar Plays
Anup Kumar. (Picture Coutsey: Getty Images)

New Delhi: A “mischevious kid” from Palra, (small village in Haryana), is now defending India’s world title as a proud captain in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.

Palra is a quaint little hamlet just a little over 60 kilometers away from the capital. And the man who has made this place famous is none other than Indian Kabaddi team captain Anup Kumar.

The entire village comes to a standstill whenever Anup and his men take the court in Ahmedabad, where India is looking to retain its kabaddi world title.

"Everyone in our village celebrates Anup and his team’s victory. They all burst crackers, distribute sweets and wish each other" said Anup’s sister-in-law Sushma Devi.

Anup Kumar, the most experienced player and skilled raider in the national team, is the youngest and the most pampered child of his parents, said his mother Ballo Devi during a conversation with News18.

She could not resist her joy and smile while sharing the story of Anup’s life, who she said “has brought glory to the family and village.”

Though she has never gone to watch Anup play, she is the first one to take her place in front of the television before all his matches.

"We complete all our work or leave it, but we watch the entire match. Supper after match is now a ritual in the family," Anup’s mother Ballo Devi said.

In 2012 Anup took his family to the Rashtrapati Bhavan when he was bestowed with the Arjuna Award, one of the most proud moments for his mother.

Anup's only son, Kunaal, has already started playing Kabaddi with his friends, which is now the favourite sport in the village.

"My kid wants to be a kabaddi player, he looks at Anup's skills and raiding style and imitates him," said a neighbour.

Anup's leadership skills are not limited to the court only, he fulfills all his responsibilities as a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Haryana and interacts with the people very often.

"He spends most of his time either on phone or attending ceremonies, his phone rings in every 5-10 minutes," said Anup’s sister Neelam Kumar.

Neelam believes Iran could give India a tough competition, but said “India will have the last laugh.”

Anup Kumar’s wife feels proud that her husband is carrying the burden of the nation’s expectations on his shoulder.

He never forgets to call us before a match. He is very confident about the World Cup and promised to win it, said Anup's wife.

Anup was always a livewire on the sports field, recalls his childhood friend Parmanand Kumar.

"Anup was an average student, but he was very good in sports and used to spend most of the time on ground,” shared Kumar.

For everyone in Palra, Anup is the "Dhoni of Kabaddi".

((The story has been reported by’s Aakash Srivastava))

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