Interview with Deepak Nivas Hudda: “Worked as a teacher to support my dream of playing kabaddi”

Aditya Sharma

Deepak Nivas Hudda working out

Deepak Nivas Hudda, star all-rounder of Telugu Titans and Star Sports Pro Kabaddi has claimed 28 points in the 3 matches he played this season. The youngster went through plenty of struggles to become a household name today.

The 21-year-old Haryana boy spoke to SportsKeeda over the phone during his free time before their match against U Mumba. During his interview, he unveiled lots of unknown secrets about his past and explained in detail, his struggle.

Here are the excerpts:

Q. When did you start playing kabaddi?

I started playing kabaddi 6 years ago in my village Chamaria, which is near Rohtak. This year in October, I will complete my 6th year of kabaddi. I started playing professional kabaadi 2 years ago. I played senior national level tournament at Patna in 2014 and won gold medal there.

Q. What kind of support did you receive as a young kabaddi player?

I lost my mother when I was 4-year-old; After that my father expired 4 years ago. I was the only person left at my home to do everything. My father was very ill from a long time. No one was there to stop me or to support me.

Q. Would you like to tell us about your struggle after that?

My father was a farmer. After his death, I had no option left except to leave farming, because of lack of money. I wanted to make my career. I was in 12th class at that time, when my father expired. Due to financial problems, I left my studies and started playing kabaddi.

Q. Did you try to restart your studies after that?

Yes, after my 12th I played kabaddi for 2 years and then I took admission in B.A. There, I played in All-India University tournament and won a gold medal. After this I left my studies once again to pursue a career in kabaddi.

Q. How many members are there in your family?

I have one elder sister, who is already married. I don’t have anyone at my home.

Q. You live at your village. What kind of support were you getting from your village?

Yes, I live at my village. When I started playing kabaddi, only 2-3 players are there in village. I did not have much support from my village. I used to go out of my village in to play kabaddi and practice.

Q. You also faced lots of financial problems when you started playing kabaddi. How did you manage to support your dream of playing kabaddi?

That time I used to work in a private school as a part-time teacher for my living. After that I used to go to other villages for my practice on my bike. I did this for 1 and half-year, which helped me improve my game immensely.

Telugu Titans Star All-rounder Deepak Nivas Hudda

Q. How did you get selected to play for the Telugu Titans?

I got selected for Telugu Titans during my performance at senior level tournament at Patna in 2014, where I was awarded a gold medal.

Q. Tell us about the impact of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi on the sport?

Before Star Sports Pro Kabaddi there was not much scope in kabaddi. Star Sports Pro Kabaddi took the sport to another level. All the players’ lives improved as earlier, they were getting nothing. Pro Kabaddi is a good place to build your kabaddi career. Before, nobody know me, but now everyone does.

Q. Last year you accumulated a massive 90 points and this year you have done even better to get 28 points in the first 3 matches. What changes have you made to your game from last year?

Last year my game was a bit weak. I had some problems at home, so I was not able to play my natural game. This year I am playing good and getting results too.

Q. We have seen you go for 1 point in your raids and not try to be overambitious and aim for more. Why is that?

Star Sports Pro Kabaddi has become more technical this year. Teams have strengthened their defences. If you go for 2-3 points, chances of getting tackled rise exponentially. So I like to get a point in my raids.

Q. This season, you have been helping the team out in defence as well. Would you elaborate on that?

Yes, I am supporting the team in defence too. Sometime when my raids are not getting points, then I try to get some points in defence to help the team to victory.

Q. You also have friends here in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. Who is your best friend in your team?

Sandeep (Narwal) is like my younger brother. We share a room here and we live together back home as well. His village is bit away from my village, but most of the time I never let him go home. He does his practice with me. 

Q. Your next match is against U Mumba. What message would you like to give them?

We don’t like to involve in anything like that. Our only aim now is to reach semi-final. The way we are playing right now, we will give tough fight to U Mumba.

Originally published on Sportskeeda.com here