Fitness important for longer Kabaddi tournaments, says Anup Kumar

Mumbai: Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) franchise U Mumba skipper Anup Kumar on Wednesday emphasised the importance of maintaining fitness in the cash-rich league, which was expanded to a dozen teams this season.

With 12 teams, 130 plus matches and 13 weeks of competition, one has to remain fit to perform to one’s ability.

Anup, who along with Telugu Titans captain Rahul Chaudhary was present at the media forum here on Wednesday, said it is important to be fit during such a long tournament.

“We are working on our fitness now. A 20-day team (U Mumba) camp which was held at Dehradun was completely focused on fitness. We hardly got a chance to step on the mat,” Anup, who is also the India skipper, told reporters here.

“Every team expects their 8-9 important players to play the entire tournament. So, in order to do that, we have to remain fit,” he added.

Last month, four new franchises — Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat — were inducted into the upcoming edition of the tournament, starting from July 28.

Chaudhary also echoed Anup’s word and said when the tournament is long, one has to remain fit and that also helps improve our game.

“Fitness is very important when the tournament is long. It’s a contact sport and each time you are on the mat, you are expected to give your cent percent. And to do that for a long time, you have to remain fit,” Chaudhary said.