Tough to become a standout Kabaddi player in India: Fazel

Fazel, who has led his Mumbai-based team to become one of the strongest contenders of this year’s title, shared his experiences with an exclusive chat.

Fazel (middle) had become the costliest purchase in this year’s PKL auction as U Mumba pocketed him for a whopping ₹1 crore.   -  Twitter @ProKabaddi

In no time he has become one of the latest poster boys in Indias cash-rich Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), but U Mumba skipper Fazel Atrachali, the Iranian defender, feels that it is a tough task to become a standout player in a country like India, the powerhouse of this game for several years.

Fazel, who has led his Mumbai-based team to become one of the strongest contenders of this year’s title, shared his experiences with an exclusive chat.

“It is always difficult to become a star in a country like India as it produces a number of great and skilfull players. Here, one must perform very well to make your team believe in you,” opined the Iranian.

READ: PKL 2018: Titans overcomes Paltan challenge

“India has a bunch of talented players and so, it is always a challenge to perform here,” added Fazel, whose side is currently leading the charts in zone A of the league.

Fazel had become the costliest purchase in this year’s PKL auction as U Mumba pocketed him for a whopping ₹1 crore, but the Iranian believes that his game is more important than money.

“I don’t think about money at all. It is for just three months. I want to play like this for the next five-six years more, so I focus on future and try to get better every day,” Fazel explained.

ALSO READ: PKL 2018: Rajput's seven-point raid lights up Mumbai leg

The Iranian may be leading a completely new team in the ongoing season, but feels it is the challenge that he enjoys the most. “I like to play with a new team, with young players,” he said besides explaining the reason behind it.

“They (young players) never play for themselves, these players play for the team which I like the most and I like such a challenge to lead them.”

Sharing his PKL experience so far, Fazal expressed: “What I have learnt is that one must play with both his mind and body. Both must work together for you.”

ALSO READ: PKL: Meraj steals the show as Dabang Delhi beats Jaipur Pink Panthers

“Also, if I think just about myself that I am a great player, it will not work at all. All players should come as a unit and stick to the team’s strategy and plan. Only then, your team could win,” he pointed out.

Fazel, however, does not subscribe to the general view that being a defender and skipper together is an added advantage in kabaddi since a defender is on the mat till the last moment. “No, it is not like that. Kabaddi is all about both your raiders and defenders,” the 26-year-old said.

“It is not just your raiders are performing or just your defenders, both have to work together, only then, it is an advantage. It is never about the one side, the whole team needs to click together on every occasion,” Fazel concluded.