Leading Telugu Titans to success in Season 7 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League
- 24 Jul 2019
''Kabaddi happened to me by chance. It was something I grew up loving, but I happened to watch a match and was interested in trying. That's how my journey with this sport began - rather unexpected. Coming from a small village in Iran, I had no support when I started to take it up seriously. My parents died in an accident, when I was 20 and other relatives around me wouldn't understand why I didn't choose a mainstream career option. But I completely enjoyed playing Kabaddi. Fortunately, things worked out pretty well, though gradually. I started coaching a few students in my village - my first one was a 9-year-old boy, Fazel Attrachali - the now captain of U Mumba and our national team in Iran.
I began with very little encouragement, but the team from my village went on to win accolades at the national level championships. That's when people understood my ability. Soon, I got an offer to coach the national team that represented Iran in Asian championship and that was my biggest moment of happiness. As a team, our graph saw a gradual rise and we won the gold medal in 2018. Even then, I never thought that I'd get an opportunity to coach teams in India. VIVO Pro Kabaddi League has been a great platform for me to meet and work with people from different cultural backgrounds. As a coach, it only makes my experience better when I help and mentor these players, who are so determined to give their best for a sport they love. When I watch them play, especially my team - Telugu Titans - I see how each of them comes with a set of strengths and weaknesses. But they want to look beyond the latter and focus on taking the cup home. There's no better feeling than this - to lead a team of dedicated and focused players.''