He played the sport for 15 years, won two golds at the Asian Games and even led India to a World Cup title. Now that he’s 35 and retired, Anup Kumar has a new goal in sight – coaching the Indian kabaddi team. And just seven months since he decided to put away his jersey, Anup has also taken a small step in that direction.On 19 December 2018, Kumar had decided to draw curtains on an illustrious career as his team Jaipur Pink Panthers’ campaign in the sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi League ended.The veteran Kabaddi star, who had made his India debut during the South Asian Games in 2006, had also been out of favour with respect to the Indian team – not making the squads for the Kabaddi Masters tournament or the Asian Games in 2018.In the season succeeding his retirement, Anup joined PKL franchise Puneri Paltan as their head coach, admitting that he had offers from several other teams as well. Right before his first season in the new role started, Kumar told The Quint in an interview, that he would definitely like a chance to train the Indian team.“I can’t be sure that will happen (coaching Indian kabaddi team). But I will definitely try. And to my federation and its president, and to the IOA – where we get our approval from – I would like to request them that if they think Anup Kumar is a coach of that level, I would ask them to give me a chance. I would want that my country, and the players who represent them can train well and win medals.”Anup KumarJoining the support staff of Puneri Paltan, who have never lifted the PKL trophy, Anup Kumar revealed the one trouble area he spotted in the squad.“Mostly, everything is okay, but in the defence there was room for improvement and we have worked on it. Now, I can’t reveal what it is. Even though we worked on both our raiding and defending, we worked more on the latter, and now it’s completely fit.”Talking about the toughness level of the sport kabaddi, Anup Kumar said, “There’s no doubt that kabaddi is one of the toughest games, and it’s a body contact sport that’s very hard to play. The raider’s job is the most difficult because he has to go against the seven defenders of the opposition, beat them and get points. For that, we have to keep our mind set. For that, we should do meditation and yoga as part of our practice sessions. Kabaddi is a game where you have to make quick decisions, and to be able to do that, your mind should be in the right place”.The longer version of the interview with former Indian kabaddi team captain Anup Kumar will be published soon. We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.