Puneri Paltan found a new hero in Pankaj Mohite in Pro Kabaddi 2019 as the youngster ended up being the second-highest points scorer for the team. In his debut season of PKL, Pankaj made a permanent place for himself after starting out as a substitute. He was probably the only silver lining in what was a rather ordinary season for the team. Let us get to know more about Mohite as he turns 21 today.
1. Pankaj was born on 24th June 1999 in the Wadala area of Mumbai, Maharashtra. Growing up, Pankaj had a difficult childhood as he lost his father at the age of 12 years. He grew up with his mother and two sisters. Pankaj gives all the credit for his success to his elder sister who has faced hardships for the family after losing their father.
2. He grew up in Wadala and used to play Kabaddi along with his neighborhood friends in the Kabaddi ground nearby. As he started getting better at the game, his interest piqued and he decided to make a career in Kabaddi.
3. Pankaj took admission in Maharshi Dayanand College in Mumbai which boasts of alumni like Rishank Devadiga and Sonali Shingate. Pankaj's Kabaddi skills were nurtured at the college where he got a chance to practice with different players.
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4. The youngster started playing for local groups as well as big names like Dena Bank and Air India and started making a name for himself. The lanky raider was praised at various tournaments and was just in his teens, giving him ample time to flourish ahead.
5. Mohite also represented the team of Maharashtra at the Junior National Kabaddi Championships 2019 and played an important role in the team's bronze medal win. He was also part of the inaugural Khelo India Games 2020 and had represented Maharashtra.
6. His performance at the Khelo India and Junior National did not go unnoticed as Puneri Paltan picked him up. After playing as a substitute, Pankaj went on to become a regular in the team during Pro Kabaddi Season 7. He made his debut against Bengal Warriors in his hometown of Mumbai in the 17th Match of PKL 2019 and ended up with 6 raid points to his name.
7. The youngster did not disappoint with his performance as he went on to become the second-highest points scorer for his team in the debut season itself. After poor performances from senior players, Pankaj became the lead raider for the team along with another youngster, Manjeet.
8. In his 16 matches during PKL Season 7, Pankaj went on to score 118 raid points, including three Super 10s in 208 raids. Although the team failed to do well, Pankaj had made sure that he gets a permanent place in the starting 7 in upcoming seasons.
9. Pankaj made his debut as a senior player for Maharashtra at the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships in Jaipur. He scored 46 raid points and was the seventh-highest raid point scorer in the tournament.
10.Pankaj says that working with a coach like Anup Kumar has given shape to his game and he has learned new skills like lion jump and dubki.