Deepak Ram Niwas Hooda is an astounding Indian kabaddi legend whose life is an inspiration to aspiring kabaddi players. He was born into an agriculture-based family on 10 June 1994 in Chamaria village in the district of Rohtak, Haryana.
Childhood and Early days
Deepak faced hardships in life both emotionally and financially from a very young age. Deepak lost his mother when he was only 4 years old. After his mother’s demise, it was his father who took care of him and his sister. Deepak always had that spark of kabaddi in him from his childhood. He started playing kabaddi in 2009. Later on, when Deepak was in 12th grade, he was again struck by a tragedy that changed his life completely. He lost his father who was the breadwinner of the family and was left alone with his sister and her child. The entire responsibility of the family fell on him. Because of his financial situation, he dropped out of school and worked as a part-time teacher in the same institution. But his devotion and fire towards his passion never faded away.
After 2 years of working, he started playing kabaddi in the nearby villages after his part-time job which provided him with additional income. Even in the darkest days, Deepak found out a way to improve his skills and to earn exposure. However dark the circumstances might be, Deepak always found light in it. He also had a dream of becoming a graduate. So after he was back on his feet financially, he took university courses and pursued his graduation. By that time Deepak was molded enough to be the best university player through his immense hard-work and entire dedication.
He won the gold medal at All India University tournament and kick-started his journey of successful days ahead. To pursue his dream career in kabaddi, Deepak again left behind his education. In 2014, with his exceptional talent, Deepak got into the Haryana team and secured gold at the Senior National level tournament in Patna. Deepak is beyond doubt an unbeatable player considering all the aspects of kabaddi. Even though he came as a raider, he is positioned as an all-rounder because of his capabilities. Deepak made his debut in the Pro Kabaddi League in 2014. He is a familiar face in all the seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League from the beginning to the latest season.
Deepak Niwas Hooda Pro Kabaddi Career
With his experience and outstanding game statistics, in the opening season of the Pro Kabaddi
League, Deepak was brought by Telugu Titans for Rs 12.6 lakhs making him the second-highest bid receiver of the season. In this season he secured 72 successful raids out of 148 raids and an overall of 89 points in 14 matches played. From the very beginning itself, Deepak managed to build up an amazing game statistics in the Pro Kabaddi League. In season 2, Deepak continued to play for Telugu Titans. In this season secured 52 successful raids out of 153 raids and 32 tackle points from 61 tackles. Overall he earned 96 points from 15 matches played.
Deepak played for Puneri Paltan for seasons 3, 4 and 5 of the Pro Kabaddi League. In season 3 Deepak bagged 62 successful raids out of 157 raids with an overall of 76 points from 12 matches played and made his team worthy enough to make a podium finish under the captaincy of Manjeet Chillar. In season 4, Deepak bagged 108 successful raids out of 277 raids and earned an overall of 130 points from 16 matches played. Season 5 was legendary for Deepak. He secured 127 successful raid points out of 360 raids with an overall score of 186 points in 24 matches played making him the 3rd highest point scorer in the Do-Or-Die raid points chart of Pro Kabaddi League. He also captained Puneri Paltan for Season 5.
In season 6, Deepak was brought by Jaipur Pink Panthers for a sum of Rs 1.15 crore. His performance in this season earned a high 5 to his name and was regarded as the most successful all-rounder of the Pro Kabaddi League season 6. He had 162 successful raids out of 366 raids and scored an overall of 208 points in 22 matches played. Deepak continued to play for Jaipur Pink Panthers in season 7. He bagged 55 successful raids put of 155 raids and earned a total of 77 points from 12 matches played. In his entire career in the Pro Kabaddi League, Deepak managed to secure 862 points from 115 matches played which is something beyond an achievement. He has earned a total of 640 raid points from 1616 raids. He also has 24 super 10s to his name that sets the record of 4th highest in the history of tournaments. His game statistics are just enough to showcase the depth of his remarkable endowment.
He was one of the top performers in the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the first half of the season where it seemed like Jaipur would run away with the cup. He scored 7 super 10’s in the entire season amassing a total of 158 points. Jaipur came into a dry spell in between where they couldn’t win a match for one and a half months of PKL Season 7 which eventually lead to their omission from the playoff spots. As a player, Deepak gave it his all but was a disappointment in terms of his captaincy. He lacked the vision and total control over the team which leads to the downfall. His raiding was supreme, but couldn’t justify his all-rounder tag in terms of defending. Jaipur lacked the coherence in defense which was the top reason for their exit from the top 6.
In 2016, Deepak was a part of the vibrant national team that won a gold medal in the South Asian Games held at Guwahati. In the same year, this prodigy was also the part of the team that won a gold medal in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup held at Ahmadabad. Later on, in 2017 Deepak participated in Asian Kabaddi Championship held at Gorgan and bagged a gold medal. In 2018 he participated in Asian Games held in Jakarta and won the bronze medal. In the same year, he also won a gold medal in the 2018 Dubai Kabaddi Masters.
He was handed the captaincy baton for the 2019 South Asian Games and successfully led the team to a gold medal victory. This was his second gold medal at the tournament and a first as the captain.
Deepak always took the crowd into his hands with his signature move Running Hand Touch where the raider approaches towards the defender with speedy movements and element of surprise for extending his body for a quick touch with the hand before approaching to the safe side. He has always kept his fitness ahead of everything. He is so focused on his game that he takes calculated risks only and tries to spend the maximum amount of time on the mat. Within this short period, Deepak became a heritage to the kabaddi fans. He is truly an inspirational figure to all out there, encouraging them to accept life as it comes but to write the story of your success in the way you want it to be. Deepak’s life teaches us to stop at nothing even if life knocks you down. His accomplishments in life give us the motivation to nudge aside all the negativity and to slowly build against all odds that happens around you.
This 25-year-old is known to be one of the fittest players in the Indian kabaddi world. Deepak is a very outgoing person outside the mat. His friends and loved ones call him Deepu. He is said to have an aggressive nature on the field. Apart from playing kabaddi, Deepak enjoyed exploring new places. He also loved to hang out with his sister and his friends. Even after crossing many milestones and achieving everything he wanted in life, Deepak never stopped taking care of the responsibilities he undertook as a child. He always celebrated his victories and glorious moments with his sister and her child who supported him throughout his journey.