Rinku Hari hopes to make it big at U Mumba under his idol Fazel Atrachali
Kabaddi has been a primary sport in the Nanagaon village in the Sonipat district in Haryana like many other villages in the state. Rinku Hari, who was picked by PKL 2 champions U Mumba for a whopping sum of INR 32 lakhs, has been playing Kabaddi since he was 14. He is the product of the grassroots ecosystem and hopes to make it big in the Pro Kabaddi League like his idols Pardeep Narwal and Joginder Narwal.
He shared how his journey as a Kabaddi player has been so far, the emotions he went through during the auction, his strengths and how he plans to get through the bio-bubble during the PKL in an exclusive interview with Kabaddi Adda.
Introduction to sport
“I started playing Kabaddi at the age of 14 in my village and learnt from seniors like Pardeep Narwal, Joginder Narwal. I used to practice in my village but later on move to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Gujarat where I acquired most of my skills.”
The defender has played in 10 national level tournaments so far and is a seasoned campaigner in the domestic circuit. He was hopeful of attracting bids when he went under the hammer in the auction but the eventual price tag overwhelmed him.
Emotions during the PKL Auction
“I was watching the PKL auction on mobile and when my category came up, I observed the bids were on the higher side. When my name was announced, my heartbeat accelerated. Based on my performance in the nationals so far, I always knew that I will attract bids. Even my friends were confident about it but I didnt know what my exact price tag will be. The final amount of INR 32 lakhs exceeded my expectations,” said the young defender as everyone at home was ‘proud' of him.
Numbers tell a story themselves about Rinku’s short but impressive career so far. He has a 75.22% strike rate while tackling and is on the mat for 89.84% of the time proving that he is an intelligent defender who is on the mat more often than not.
Playing with inspiration- Fazel Atrachali
Rinku believes that he is mentally strong and mentions this as his biggest strength which will help the U Mumba franchise as well. “I will work hard in the camp and book my place in the starting 7. The aim is to be in the starting 7 in this season,” as the defender is confident on the transition from the national level to the Pro Kabaddi League.
“Joginder Narwal and Fazel Atrachali are my inspiration and I want to become a corner like them. It will be great that I will get an opportunity to practice with Fazel Atrachali who will be the captain of my team,” said Rinku.
The defender plied his trade for the Narwal Sports Academy in the K7 Qualifiers earlier this year. “I met new players and a lot of people saw me which ignited my PKL career,” as he mentioned how teams approached him for the PKL, post the K7 Kabaddi Qualifiers.
Rinku is focusing on ameliorating certain aspects of his game and has set his targets for the upcoming season. “I am focusing on ankle hold and the goal is to by an ‘A’ category defender in the next season.”
The defender reiterated that personal relationships will be the key to tackle the boredom and challenges of the bio-bubble during the tournament. “It will be tough but we have to adjust and we will get used to it in a week. We have good players, so with a good bond we will get through it.”