Kabaddi, being a sport that originated in the villages of India, is not as recognized as it should be. It is due to leagues such as the Pro Kabaddi League, that Kabaddi has become a widely appreciated sport in India over the past few years. With celebrities taking a keen interest in the sport, it is raising the curiosity of the audience to take notice of it.
Leagues like these have also given undue recognition to the hard work and dedication to the Kabaddi players. They are now shining under the spotlight that they always deserved. Below is a list of some of the famous Kabaddi players in India that have become a worldwide sensation.
Dubki King A.K.A Pardeep Narwal
A team member of the Patna Pirates in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League and Indian National Kabaddi team, Pardeep Narwal is a famous Kabaddi player in India. He has earned fame in the sport on the national as well as the international level. A former Bengaluru Bulls player, Pardeep Narwal is currently the highest raid-point scorer in the Pro Kabaddi league history. He spearheaded the Patna Pirates for three consecutive victories in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi between 2016-17. Haryana born Pardeep Narwal has garnered fame on the international level by winning gold in three out of four tournaments in the Indian National Kabaddi team. One of the top Kabaddi players in India, Pardeep Narwal has several records and achievements under his belt including Kabaddi World Cup (2016), VIVO Pro Kabaddi Most Valuable Player (2016, 2017), Best Raider Award (2017, 2018) and many more.
Captain Cool A.K.A Anup Kumar
Kabaddi player turned coach, Anup Kumar is widely recognized as one of the top Kabaddi players in India. He had a golden career spanning 12 years in the sport. Anup Kumar is one of the most successful raiders of the Pro Kabaddi League and International Kabaddi. On the national front, he is regarded as one of the best captains of the Indian National Kabaddi team. Anup Kumar made his international debut in the 2010 Asian Games and acclaimed great recognition. He led the Indian National Kabaddi team to their record third victory at the Kabaddi World Cup 2016. With his unmatched skills of taking bonus points, Anup Kumar is nicknamed ‘Bonus Ka Badshah.’ A famous Kabaddi player in India, he has won many honours and achievements including the Asian Games Gold Medal (2010, 2014), South Asian Games Gold Medal (2016), Raider Of The Season (2014 Pro Kabaddi League), Arjuna Award For Kabaddi (2012) and many more.
Deepak Niwas Hooda
After a lot of struggles and hardships, Deepak Niwas Hooda became a Kabaddi player and a part of the Indian National Kabaddi team. His dedication to the sport made him one of the top Kabaddi players in India. A famous Kabaddi player in India, Deepak Niwas Hooda has been a part of all the season of the Pro Kabaddi League and has played for three different teams namely Telugu Titans, Puneri Paltan and Jaipur Pink Panthers. Along with Rahul Chaudhari, he too was a part of the Indian National Kabaddi team that won a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games. Currently, Deepak Niwas Hooda is serving as the captain of the National Kabaddi team
Raid Machine A.K.A Rahul Chaudhari
Uttar Pradesh born Rahul Chaudhari started playing Kabaddi at the early age of 13. He started his career in Kabaddi in the year 2010 and quickly went on to become a famous Kabaddi player in India. Rahul Chaudhari formerly played as a Defender in the Indian National Kabaddi team but later became a Raider. For the initial six seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League, he was a member of the team Telugu Titans and later shifted to Tamil Thalaivas. Rahul Chaudhari was titled as the best raider in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 4. One of the top Kabaddi players in India, he was a part of the Indian National Kabaddi team that bagged a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games.
Angry Young Man A.K.A Manjeet Chhillar
Manjeet Chhillar is a famous Kabaddi player in India currently representing Tamil Thalaivas in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League. He is on top of Pro Kabaddi’s all-time leaderboards for tackle points (302), successful tackles (289) and High 5s. Delhi born Manjeet Chhillar was initially a wrestler but later shifted to Kabaddi. He started his career as a professional Kabaddi player at the 2010 Asian Games in China. Manjeet Chhillar has played for four teams in the Pro Kabaddi League namely Bengaluru Bulls, Puneri Paltan, Jaipur Pink Panthers and Tamil Thalaivas. One of the top Kabaddi players in India, he has been recognized with several awards and medals including Asian Games Gold Medal (2010, 2014), Kabaddi World Cup (2016), Pro Kabaddi League Most Valuable Player (2015), Arjuna Award (2015) and many more.
A part of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup winning team, Surender Nada is one of the top Kabaddi players in India. Popular as India’s ankle-hold specialist, he started his career in Kabaddi by playing in the left-corner for the team U Mumba in Pro Kabaddi League Season 1. Since 2016, he is the first choice for the left-corner along with his right-corner partner, Manjeet Chhillar, for their respective positions for the Indian National Kabaddi team. A famous Kabaddi player in India, Surender Nada has represented four teams in the Pro Kabaddi League namely U Mumba, Bengaluru Bulls, Haryana Steelers and Patna Pirates.
King Of Kabaddi A.K.A Ajay Thakur
Former Captain of the India National Kabaddi team, Ajay Thakur is a famous Kabaddi player in India, currently serving as the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Himachal Pradesh. He was recognized as one of the best raiders in the Indian National Kabaddi team. In the Pro Kabaddi League, Ajay Thakur has represented three teams namely Bengaluru Bulls, Puneri Paltan and Tamil Thalaivas. With attack as his natural playing style, he is one of the top Kabaddi players in India. In 2017, Ajay Thakur captained the Indian National Kabaddi team and led them to victory. He was also awarded the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award in 2019.