Star raider Pardeep Narwal has replaced Nitesh Kumar as the captain of UP Yoddhas for the remainder of the Pro Kabaddi League season 9, the GMR-owned franchise announced on Saturday.
Nitesh has been the captain of UP Yoddhas for their two previous seasons and till their last game against Puneri Paltans this season.
Pardeep, who is known as Dubki King, is the only raider to have earned over 1400 raid points in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). In the past, he has captained Patna Pirates and helped them win three back-to-back Pro Kabaddi League titles.
UP Yoddhas are currently placed number 10th in the PKL standings with 24 points to their kitty. They would be facing Haryana Steelers on Saturday night which would also kick off Pardeep’s journey with the team as a captain.
“Nitesh is one of our finest defenders and nothing changes that. This season has been testing and hence to concentrate on his game and performance Nitesh himself took the decision of giving up on captaincy. Once he expressed his desire, we knowing his worth, respected it and after a long thorough analysis, we only found Pradeep as the best option, given his stature within the team and his past experience leading his past franchise, to take up the role as a captain for UP Yoddhas,” said Jasvir Singh, head coach, UP Yoddhas.
Narwal has been one of the biggest icons of the Pro Kabaddi League as statistically there’s nothing that he is left to achieve as a raider.
He is currently placed on top of each raiding stat table viz; Total Points, Raid Points, Successful Raids, Average Raid Points, Super Raids and Super 10s of overall seasons of Pro Kabaddi League.