Happy Birthday Surjeet Singh!!
PO Surjeet Singh has been one of the top right cover defenders in India for many years now. The highest tackle point scorer during the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, Surjeet has many accolades to his name in the Pro Kabaddi League as well. He is the current skipper of Puneri Paltan team coached by former Indian team skipper and under whom Surjeet played at the World Cup, Anup Kumar. As Surjeet celebrates his 30th birthday today, let us have a look at Surjeet's journey in Kabaddi till now.
1. Surjeet Singh Narwal was born on 10th August 1990 in Haryana. Surjeet started playing Kabaddi and went on to join the Indian Navy and represent the Services' team in the Senior Nationals and other national level tournaments.
2. He was a part of the Services team at the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships in March 2020. While the Services Sports Promotional Board were the runner-ups of the tournament, Surjeet was one of the top performers for his team.
3. Surjeet made his Pro Kabaddi debut in PKL Season 3 with Puneri Paltan. In his debut season itself, Surjeet was one of the best performing players of the tournament and went on to score 48 tackle points from just 12 matches. He finished as the third-best defender of the tournament after his teammate Manjeet Chhillar and Patna Pirates' Sandeep Narwal. He played a major role in taking the Pune side to the semi-finals for the first time in PKL.
4. The following season saw Surjeet moving to U Mumba. He scored 37 tackle points from 14 matches to finish as the top defender for his team. However, he was let go by the Mumbai based franchise just after one season and was drafted in the auction pool before Pro Kabaddi Season 5.
5. Surjeet was picked up by Bengal Warriors for a hefty price fo Rs. 80 lakh and was named as their skipper. Not only did he lead the team to playoffs that season but Surjeet was also the second-highest tackle points scorer after Surender Nada. Surjeet scored 76 points from 24 matches and also had 9 High-5s to his name, the joint highest that season. He continued to be with the Warriors in the next season as well but saw a huge dip in his performance. Although top defender for Bengal, he scored just 54 tackle points from 24 matches and was ranked 14th among the defenders that season.
6. After he was dropped by Bengal Warriors before the Pro Kabaddi Season 7 Auction, Surjeet Singh joined other players in the auction. With a base price of Rs. 30 lakh, Surjeet saw his first-team Puneri Paltan starting the bid for the ace defender. They were joined by Patna Pirates which saw Surjeet's price go up to Rs. 48 lakh. UP Yoddha then jumped in but it looked like Pune was determined to get the defender on board. After a bidding war between the three teams, Pune got the player for Rs. 56 lakh.
7. Surjeet was named the skipper of the Pune based franchise with Anup Kumar as a coach. However, it was a below-par performance by the team as they finished in the 10th place. Surjeet once again was a top performer for his team and finished with 63 tackle points from 21 matches. His seven High-5s were the joint highest of the season. Every time Surjeet fired Puneri Paltan won, but that was not sufficient to qualify.
8. With 278 tackle points from 98 matches, Surjeet leads the way with 27 High-5s, the most by any player in the entire seven seasons of the league.
9. Surjeet made his Indian team debut at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati. He went on to win the gold medal in his very first appearance for the national team. He was then a part of the squad for the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad. Surjeet finished as the top defender of the tournament with 23 tackle points and also scored a match-winning High-5 in the final against Iran.
10. Since then, Surjeet has won a silver medal for the Indian team at the 2016 Asian Beach Games and a gold at the Asian Kabaddi Championships 2017.