Indian kabaddi player Siddharth Desai has warned that the upcoming Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) will witness a new version of himself whenever the season starts.
"Everyone will see a new Siddharth in Season 8," he asserted in an interview with Hindustan Times.
The 29-year-old raider went on to reveal that he has been acquiring and mastering new skills ahead of PKL Season 8. Even though the upcoming season has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and there has been no clarity as to when it will commence, Siddharth has been keeping himself fit.
“I was working out at home and carrying out body-weight training with the children of my village. My brother (Suraj) and I were practising together,” the Telugu Titans star raider said.
Siddharth also said that he will once again depend on his success mantra of ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’ and try to protect his mental and physical health in his bid for another solid season with Telugu Titans.
Having made his debut in the PKL Season 6 with U Mumba, Desai had taken the league by storm as he became the first raider to amass 200 points in their first season. He ended Season 6 with 221 points, only behind Pawan Kumar Sehrawat from Bengaluru Bulls and Pardeep Narwal of Patna Pirates.
Following his impressive debut season, Desai became the most expensive player in Season 7 as Telugu Titans secured his services for a staggering ₹1.45 Crore. The star raider then had another good campaign with the Titans, scoring 200 points.
However, amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a tough two years for kabaddi in India. PKL Season 8 was postponed last year due to rising coronavirus cases in the country and in the interview, Siddharth stressed the need for patience to succeed in kabaddi.
“The journey has been long and tough. I have achieved recognition because of my hard work, patience, and lots of practice. In kabaddi we have to keep evolving and being relevant, from skills to techniques to fitness,” he said.
Siddharth also spoke about learning from the likes of Rishank Devadiga, Girish Ernak, and Nitin Madane while playing for Maharashtra in the senior nationals. His association with Air India helped him improve as well after he got the opportunity to play with stars like Rahul Chaudhari, Ajay Thakur, and Deepak Niwas Hooda.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi