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Pro Kabaddi League: Puneri Paltan ties up with Zaheer Khan’s academy for injury-free campaign

Loss of experienced players like Pravin Niwale and captain Wazir Singh leading to successive losses.

Puneri Paltan, the city franchise of Pro Kabaddi League, has announced a tie-up with ProSport, the fitness academy of former Indian bowler Zaheer Khan. The collaboration has been agreed upon to ensure talented players brought in for the third season to reverse the team’s bad fortunes, don’t suffer the same fate as the star players of last season, who had to watch their side slump as the reserves lacked quality.

After finishing at the bottom consecutively, Paltan had invested heavily in the transfer window to rope in some of the most talented players of the league like Manjeet Chillar and Ajay Thakur. In the last season, there was a time when the side struggled to field even 10 players as many of them had suffered injuries.

Loss of experienced players like Pravin Niwale and captain Wazir Singh, apart from youngsters Yogesh Hudda and Surinder Singh before key matches, heaped mental pressure on the teams, leading to successive losses.

“Our reserves were weak. We couldn’t field the important players for the home matches too. We don’t want to repeat the same thing. This year, we’ve strengthened our reserves, but our focus is on avoiding injuries altogether. We believe that if enough attention is paid to fitness, injury rehabilitation and diet of the players, we can mount a formidable challenge,” said Kailash Kandpal, manager of the team.

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Coach Ashok Shinde, before taking charge of the team last season, had admitted that as league matches are played on hard court instead of soil, chances of injuries are high. But joining hands with ProSport is the first step which Paltan has taken, acknowledging Shinde.

Khan, who announced retirement from international cricket in October expressed joy over the tie-up and stated that his club will do everything possible to get Pune to the top. He said that for every game, fitness parameters and requirements are different. “The focus would be on individuals. It is necessary to cater to the requirements of every player. Only then can you expect them to give their best on the pitch,” said Khan.

First published on: 03-12-2015 at 04:39:45 am
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