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Pardeep Narwal is an Indian kabaddi player who plays for the U.P. Yoddha team in Pro Kabaddi and is a part of the Indian national kabaddi team. He is currently the highest point scorer in Pro Kabaddi history with over 1,100 points and is the first player in the league to breach the 1000-point mark. 

Roots of kabaddi in family 

Pardeep was born on February 16, 1997, at the Rindhana village in the Sonepat district of Haryana. He was inspired to take up kabaddi by his father and uncle whom he grew up watching the sport with since childhood. Over a period of time, Pardeep developed an affinity towards the sport and started playing regularly under the tutelage of his coach Naresh Narwal.  

“I didn’t even realise when I started practising with them and soon I started training in a structured manner with my guru,” Pardeep told the Pro Kabaddi website. “By the time I was 14-15 years old, I had already started participating in local tournaments. I haven’t played any other sport in my life since then.”

The journey from Sonepat to Pro Kabaddi 

Incumbent Bengaluru Bulls coach Randhir Singh Sehrawat was the first to spot the talent of Pardeep Narwal. Invited as a chief guest in one of the local kabaddi tournaments in Haryana, Sehrawat saw a young Pardeep prevail in one of the difficult raids which prompted him to groom the youngster for Pro Kabaddi. 

“There was no way out of a tackle, but somehow, he managed it. If he could pull that off, I knew with a bit of training he could do much better,” Sehrawat told the Indian Express in 2016.  

There was no looking back since, as Pardeep Narwal made his Pro Kabaddi debut in Season 2 for Bengaluru Bulls against Patna Pirates - a team with which he later went on to win three Pro Kabaddi titles. 

From Pardeep Narwal to the ‘Record-breaker’ 

After his debut season with Bengaluru Bulls, Pardeep played for Patna Pirates in Season 3 of Pro Kabaddi where he emerged as the top raider of the tournament with 116 raid points across 16 matches. Thereafter, he played a pivotal role in the Patna Pirates’ raiding unit across the next two seasons to lead them to three successive Pro Kabaddi titles - the only team to achieve the feat in the tournament.  

Over the course of time, Pardeep developed his signature move ‘Dubki’ and began to be hailed as the ‘Dubki King’ for his flawless execution of the skill on the mat. 

In Season 5, Pardeep Narwal scored 369 raid points in a single season and smashed the all-time record of most points in a single Pro Kabaddi season. In the Eliminator against Haryana Steelers that year, Pardeep scored eight points in a single raid to etch his name in history books for the most number of points in a single raid. 

Season 6 was slightly underwhelming as per Pardeep’s standards as he could garner 233 raid points from 21 matches but the following season he returned to his best with 302 raid points across 22 matches. However, he could not see his team making it to the knockout stages of the tournament. 

Ahead of Season 8, Pardeep Narwal parted ways with Patna Pirates and entered the auction where he ended up as the costliest player in the history of Pro Kabaddi with a record sum of INR 1.65 crores paid by the U.P. Yoddha. 

Pardeep Narwal is the only player in Pro Kabaddi to win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award twice (Season 4 and Season 5) in the tournament. His record-breaking feat has also got him the name ‘Record-breaker’ Pardeep within the kabaddi fraternity. 

Making a mark at the national level

Consistent performances in Pro Kabaddi earned Pardeep Narwal the national call-up in 2016. In his brief international career so far, Pardeep has been a part of the Kabaddi World Cup-winning team in 2016, has won the gold medal at the Asian Kabaddi Championship in 2017 along with the Dubai Kabaddi Masters in 2018 while also being a part of the gold medal-winning team of the South Asian Games 2019. 

Pardeep Narwal’s Pro Kabaddi statistics

Pro Kabaddi Season

Team

Auction Price

Matches

Raid points

Season 2

Bengaluru Bulls

-

6

9

Season 3 

Patna Pirates

-

16

116

Season 4

Patna Pirates

INR 20 lakhs (sold)

16

131

Season 5

Patna Pirates

INR 55 lakhs (retained)

26

369

Season 6

Patna Pirates

INR 60.50 lakhs (retained)

21

233

Season 7

Patna Pirates

INR 77.83 lakhs (retained)

22

302

Season 8

U.P. Yoddha

INR 1.65 crores (sold)

5*

38*

Author: Kaustubh Potdar

Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi

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