After the conclusion of the sixth season of Pro Kabaddi League earlier this month, Bengaluru Bulls’ raider Pawan Kumar Sehrawat established himself as one of the upcoming stars among the Indian ranks. The 22-year-old athlete, who hails from Bawana district in New Delhi, scored 22 points in the final against Gujarat FortuneGiants to script maiden title win for Bengaluru.
Speaking in an exclusive chat to indianexpress.com, Sehrawat, who is a huge cricket fan, named South African legend AB de Villiers as his source of inspiration. "I have followed cricket for a long time. I am a huge fan of AB de Villiers. He has always been a source of insipiration, and hence I picked my jersey no. as 17, just like he does," he said.
The raider further added that he tries to attain the same versatility in his raiding as de Villiers’ has in his batting. "I want my raiding style to be like De Villiers’ batting style. Just like how he plays any kind of shots, at long on, long off, hook, or cut… I want to earn points with all kinds of raiding- bonus, jump, leap, stretch, etc," he said.
Sehrawat, who started playing kabaddi eight years ago, recalled his accidental introduction to the sport during his schooling days. "I started playing Kabaddi when I was 14-15 at a government school in Bawana. The zonal level tournaments were taking place. There was a shortage of players for kabaddi. I had a heavy built, so the coach took me. I performed good there," he said.
"Later, my father took me to the stadium and asked me if I wanted to carry on with the sport, and I showed my interest in doing so. I was always interested in sports, so I played there. And since then, I have been with the sport."
Sehrawat further said that he never thought in his early days he would have the opportunity to play at such a massive platform. "The beginning days were quite difficult. I used to travel 7-8 km on cycle for training everyday. I never thought I would get a chance to play on such a big platform. Pro Kabaddi has given us a huge boost," he said.
Now, after catching everyone’s eye in the Pro Kabaddi League, there is only one goal for the raider – he wants to make it into India’s national team. "I have a great opportunity to play for team India. My goal is to get a gold medal for India," he said.