Former Indian Kabaddi team captain Ajay Thakur turned 34 years old today. The flamboyant Kabaddi player has been a part of the Indian Kabaddi circuit for more than 14 years and has played a pivotal role in changing the face of Kabaddi in India. He has become a household name in the sport of Kabaddi. His performance in the Pro Kabaddi and the Indian Kabaddi team has made him one of the most loved sportspersons in India.
As our favorite Kabaddi player celebrates his birthday, let us know about some of the interesting facts about his life:
1. Ajay was born in Dabhota village in the Nalagarh district of Himachal Pradesh on the 1st of May 1986. His father was associated with wrestling while his cousin Rakesh had been a part of the Indian Kabaddi team. Ajay's mother was a teacher. Due to the sports background in the family, Ajay started playing Kabaddi from an early age and is also said to have run away from the home to play in a Kabaddi tournament at the age of 10.
2. He has been associated with the Indian men's Kabaddi team since the 2007 Asia Indoors Game. His performance at the tournament had helped India win the gold medal. Ajay was a part of the Indian team that won the 2014 Asian Games gold medal and played a vital role at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad. He was named the player of the tournament after his 64 raid points performance and had also scored a Super 10 in the finals.
3. After Anup Kumar's retirement, Ajay was handed the captaincy for the first time at the 2017 Asian Kabaddi Championships in Iran. He also led the team at the 2018 Kabaddi Masters. India had won both the tournaments with full domination on the opponents.
4. Ajay began is PKL journey from Season 1 with Bengaluru Bulls. He played with the team for two years before moving to Puneri Paltan in PKL Season 3. In the Pro Kabaddi Season 5, Ajay made a move to Tamil Thalaivas and has been associated with them since.
5. With his consistent performances over the years, Ajay has gone on to become of the top raiders of Pro Kabaddi. With 790 raid points from the seven seasons, he sits on the fourth position in the top raiders lists of PKL. Known to be a Do-or-Die raid specialist, Ajay is third with 163 do-or-die raid points.
6. Ajay Thakur's signature move is a frog jump wherein he launches himself over the defender, gets a touch while being airborne, and makes his way to the mid-line.
7. He is a part of the Himachal Pradesh Kabaddi team in the national circuit. Along with Vishal Bharadwaj, Baldev Singh and Surinder Singh, Ajay had played at the recently concluded Senior National Kabaddi Championships 2020 in Jaipur.
8. Ajay is currently recruited with the Himachal Pradesh Police Department as Deputy Superintendent of Police. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the country, Ajay is serving his duty patrolling the streets and making people aware of the situation.
9. Thakur is a recipient of two prestigious awards from the Government of India. He was honored with the Padma Shri and later the Arjuna Award in the year 2019 for his services to Kabaddi.
10. Ajay shares a great equation with his fellow teammates like Anup Kumar, Rakesh Kumar, Deepak Niwas Hooda, Rahul Chaudhary, Manjeet Chillar, Rann Singh and Sandeep Narwal.