File photo of Dabang Delhi defender Ravinder Pahal.(Pro Kabaddi League)
File photo of Dabang Delhi defender Ravinder Pahal.(Pro Kabaddi League)

Pro Kabaddi League 2019: How a conversation with father changed Dabang Delhi defender Ravinder Pahal’s life

Ravinder Pahal will continue to play for Dabang Delhi in the upcoming season of Pro Kabaddi League.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Karan Prashant Saxena
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2019 04:27 PM IST

Since the inception of Pro Kabaddi League in 2014, defender Ravinder Pahal has become a household name in Delhi. He started off his campaign with Dabang Delhi in season 1 and stayed for three consecutive seasons. He moved to Puneri Paltans in season 4, and then moved to Bengaluru Bulls in season 5, only to return to Delhi in season 6. He was the best raider in season 2, and became the fifth player to cross 200 tackle points in PKL history in 2017.

But despite all his plaudits, Ravinder reveals he was not interested in pursuing the sport before a conversation with his father changed his life.

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“In the beginning, I was a very different person... do numbari maan lo. I was not interested in anything - neither studies, nor sports. I was only interested in whiling away my time. But my father, who was a good kabaddi player in his time, was really interested in the sport. One night, he became emotional and told me about his past life and his glorious days. That one night, I made up my mind that I will pursue the sport to honour my father,” Ravinder told Hindustan Times in an interview.

“My brother participated in dangals to win money and he helped me in increasing my weight and in training,” he said.

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Before the start of season 5, Ravinder suffered a personal tragedy when his father passed away. “Before the start of season 5, my father passed away. I have not visited home a lot since his death, but I know I have full support from my family.”

On being questioned for how long he will continue with the sport, the Haryana-born athlete said that he will quit kabaddi once his body gives in. “A man’s greed is never fulfilled. But till the time my body supports me without any ailments or medicines, I will continue to pursue the sport. Once my body gives in, I will stop,” he said.

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