Kabaddi News: Puneri Paltan reach the PKL season nine final thanks to Fazel Atrachali's inspirational leadership

    Fazel Atrachali has become a household name in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). Despite his late entry in the ninth edition, he dominated the game and finished second on the list of highest tackle point scorers.

    Fazel Atrachali's inspirational leadership Fazel Atrachali's inspirational leadership

    In addition, he is considered the league's most successful captain and the best overseas player in the competition. On December 17, 2022, he led Puneri Paltan to their first championship match. 

    The Pune-based team have the youngest squad in PKL nine, and 30-year-old Fazel is the oldest member. He was consequently forced to subdue himself from being a brutal left corner defender to make sure he could spend all 40 minutes on the mat and lead his team. 

    "Fazel perfectly executes the role of a captain," Shyam Vasudevan said.

    Fazel admitted that he worked hard as the skipper. "All the time I should think about them and give them a plan. I'm not free and cannot play my game but it is good because the players are successful," he said. 

    Fazel has many responsibilities on the mat. He decides which raider is to be deployed, prepares a strategy before the raider makes a move, and then racks his brain on their next tackle.

    Despite being loaded with responsibilities, he always has a smile on his face and treats his teammates with love. "I've been captain for the last 15 years and I've learnt that I should always support players," he said.

    "It always works. When you support them, they deliver next time and do better." He walks the extra mile to ensure his teammates are doing well and is known to be a good listener. 

    According to BC Ramesh, "This is how a captain should play. Fazel perfectly executes the role of a captain. Who to send to raid, how to control the momentum —he's been doing all of these roles very well."

    Fazel believes that his teammates are good players and have beautiful personalities. He gave a shoutout to Mohit Goyat, Akash Shinde, Aslam Inamdar, and Pankaj Mohite.

    These young players have retained the same level of modesty and humility they had before becoming top-level challengers on the mat. "Their personality is very good, I like it. They play for the team and not for themselves," he said. 

    Fazel intends to provide his team with a solid support system and is now a win away from his third PKL title. 

    "My journey was very difficult. How do I tell you?" said Fazel

    When he was 11, he was kicked out of kabaddi, but he joined the junior kabaddi team years later and rose through the ranks. Despite being told he was not good enough, he made it to the 2010 Asian Games team and captained it. 

    He competed at the 2016 World Cup, and the snide remarks continued to flood him. In 2018, he won a gold medal at the Asian Games and then joined PKL, which has further shaped his career. 

    Besides his teammates, he is also known for tending to his fans and fulfilling their neverending barrage of selfie and handshake requests. Fazel is determined to build on his legacy in the league and become a coach in the future.

    "If there will be a chance for me to be a coach in PKL, then yes I want to be a coach," he said. "Maybe in the future if I have a chance...but only after I finish playing because I am enjoying my playing now." In addition to being an excellent captain, he has started another journey towards becoming a well-deserving coach.


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