Despite doing the double against Jaipur Pink Panthers in the league phase, Puneri Paltan couldn’t manage the same dominance in the final of the ninth season of the Pro Kabaddi League, losing the summit clash 29-33.
“I don’t want silver medal. No one remembers the runner-up,” skipper Fazel Atrachali had said before the game. He was the last one from the Paltan setup to come up to the presentation area to collect his award. Right after the game, he grimaced in dismay after squandering a chance to win the gold medal and capping a brilliant season for him personally as captain.
In an interview to Sportstar, he had spoken about how a sense of fulfilment from this season would only come if he went home with the trophy, however, the Iranian had nothing but praise for his team as he addressed the media after the game.
“I am proud of my team they played very well. They fought and that’s what makes me most proud. Games have victory and defeat and despite the ups and downs of the game, they did not give up. Each person contributed to help us come here,” he said.
Atrachali also admitted that the side was unlucky to not have Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat on the mat for the final, saying the team was short of two match-winners. Paltan evidently missed their star pair as the raiders put in an abysmal shift against Jaipur.
Atrachali was tentative about his future with the side but wished the youngsters more success in the coming seasons.
“I dont know if I will be with them next season or not, but I know they will shine next season too,” he said.