Mumbai: Bengal Warriors – a part of Capri Sports portfolio, were successfully able to retain the services of their talisman Maninder Singh for the historical 10th season of the Pro Kabaddi League.
The 33-year-old raider who was integral to the Bengal Warriors last season spoke about his retention and continuing his journey in the league with the team.
Maninder said, “Before the auction, I had faith that I would be part of the Bengal Warriors, and even my family had a similar inkling. I have played for Bengal Warriors for a while and it is now my home team. The atmosphere within the team is always great, which allows me to express myself fully during the matches. This time we will look at bettering our performance from last season and with the new team, will look at taking up the challenge for the coveted trophy.”
During the auction for the 10th season of the Pro Kabaddi League, Maninder became the third most expensive player at Rs. 2.12 crore. When asked about the added pressure of a substantial price tag, Maninder said, “I don’t really think about the price, although I am honoured that the Bengal Warriors showed faith in me and my hard work to retain me for the price they did and I am thankful to God for it too, but I really do not think about the price tag so it does not add any pressure on me. I am fully focused on giving my all for the team during the season.”
Maninder has been part of the Bengal Warriors squad since 2017 and this will be his 6th season with the team. He went on to talk about the new team composition, and said, “I am excited to play with all players who are a part of the team this season. We will look to form bonds as a family. I am eagerly waiting for the camp to start so that I can start interacting with all of them. There are a lot of young and new players who would be looking to showcase their talent and I hope as one of the seniors in the team I can help guide them and harness their full potential. We will start planning meticulously as soon as the camp starts so that everyone is able to showcase their abilities.”
The Bengal Warriors are coached by Kasinatha Baskaran who has been working with Maninder since 2017 at the Bengal franchise. Maninder spoke about the positive influence of the technical staff on the team, he said, “Bhaskaran sir and Prashanth sir are fantastic coaches, their technical knowledge of the game is phenomenal. They are great coaches because they are easy to talk to and are never overbearing or dominating, they give us the space and opportunity to learn and express ourselves which is great. Their great experience helps us deal with a lot of the mental barriers which we may face during the game. We will put in a lot of hard work during training and work on the technical aspects of our game with them and look at taking Bengal Warriors all the way.”
He signed off by sending a message to the Bengal Warriors fans, “It is because of the fans, that I was retained by the Bengal Warriors. I am grateful for the love and adoration they have shown me, for a team like ours dedicated fans are like gods to us. So, we will make sure we exceed all their expectations.”