Happy Birthday, Anup! 10 things you need to know about the former Indian captain


Anup Kumar, the former skipper of the Indian Kabaddi team celebrates his 36th birthday today. He is one of the most decorated players in the world of Kabaddi and the first poster boy of modern Kabaddi. Known for his calmness on and off the mat, Anup is famously known as the "Captain Cool" by his fans and fellow Kabaddi players.


Anup Kumar during a raid
Anup performing a raid  in his last season of PKL

Primarily a raider, Anup was known for his ability to pick up bonus points on the mat. He also got the nickname "Bonus ka Badshah" because of this skill and has a proven track record to back it up. Hailing from Haryana's Gurgaon district, Anup has been playing Kabaddi from his early school days and his passion for the sport has never gone away since.


As Anup turns 36, we look at some of the important facts of his life every kabaddi fan should know.


1. Anup Kumar began his career during the 2006 South Asian Games and was part of the Kabaddi team that won the gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games in China and Korea respectively.


2. He led the Indian Kabaddi team at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, where India emerged as the champions. Under his leadership, India also won a gold at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati.


3. Anup was awarded the Arjuna Award by the Government of India in 2012 for his contributions in the field of Kabaddi.



4. In the Pro Kabaddi League, Anup started his journey with U Mumba in 2014 and was adjudged as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament for his 155 raid points. He led the team to the finals but lost to Jaipur Pink Panthers.


5. Anup Kumar led the U Mumba team to victory in the Pro Kabaddi 2015 with a win over Bengaluru Bulls in the finals. The third season of the PKL also saw U Mumba reach the finals, making them the first team to reach three consecutive finals in PKL. However, the team had to face a defeat at the hands of Patna Pirates.


Anup Kumar with PKL trophy
Anup Kumar with the PKL trophy in 2015

6. Anup was the skipper of U Mumba for five consecutive seasons and is the only player to have a led a PKL team for that long.


7. After a titular victory at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, Anup announced his retirement from international kabaddi to pave a way for the young talent in the team. After playing a couple of seasons of PKL since then, Anup hung his boots from all formats of the games during the PKL 2018, bringing down curtains on this 15-year long career.


8. Anup was appointed as the coach of the Puneri Paltan team during Pro Kabaddi 2019. However, the team did not do well and finished off on the 10th position.


Anup Kumar with the Puneri Paltan Squad
Anup Kumar with the Puneri Paltan Squad

9. A member of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) since April 2005, Anup is currently the Deputy Commissioner of Police for the state of Haryana.


10. Anup is a passionate fitness enthusiast and loves to go on long hikes. He prefers to not take supplements and instead adds a lot of dry fruits in his diet along with milk.


From the Kabaddi Adda family, we wish our beloved Kabaddi player a very Happy Birthday and a healthy and prosperous life. We hope Anup is attached to Kabaddi in one way or the other for a long long time.