Showing posts with label u Mumba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label u Mumba. Show all posts

U Mumba's Srikanth Jadhav talks about injuries & the confidence they instilled in him

"I know how hard I have worked to recover and that makes me fearless"-  Shrikant Jadhav

U Mumba's newest star raider in the making -Shrikant Jadhav did not have an easy entry entry into the Pro Kabaddi League . Despite being selected by Jaipur Pink Panthers in season 1 and 2, on merit of his performances across various national-level school and college tournaments , he was unable to be a part of the team due to serious injuries faced before the commencement of each season. In his debut season, the third edition of Pro Kabaddi- he was selected by  Bengal Warrior and the 22 year old continued to play with the Warriors in season 4 as well. Chosen to represent U Mumba in Season 5, Shrikant has had quite a few starts for the Mumbai side. Having recently scored a Super-10 agains Dabang Delhi in Delhi, Shrikant talks to us about recovering from injury,the guidance from the Captain and Coach, playing for his home state and about playing alongside the greats of the game. Transcript below.

On recovering from injuries:

During my injuries, even Though I was in pain, I knew I could overcome it if I worked hard enough. So I worked very closely with my coaches, doctors and physiotherapists to make sure I don't only recover but get stronger and better. While rehabilitating I worked on strength and power especially focusing on the injured muscle. Be it gymming or training, or physio exercises, I gave it my all. So now I am much more powerful than I was before and feel more confident.

On the guidance received from the Coach and the Captain:

Firstly I would like to thank the Coach for his constant guidance. He spotted me during the Kabaddi Nationals at Kerala in 2014 and from there till now, he has remembered my strengths and weakness, and he constantly helps me get better. Both him and our captain Anup Kumar make sure that they allow me to play my own game. They point out my weaknesses to me and show me how to go about strengthening them. Anup always emphasizes on how we should play freely and never imagine the opponents to be greater than ourselves. This belief and confidence, for me personally, helps me become a better player, everyday.

On injury concerns during matches:

I know how hard I have worked to recover and that makes me fearless. The injuries were bad, but they helped me become a better player - that's all that matters. So when I do go on to the mat, injury is the last concern on my mind. If I avoid it, great but if I do get injured I know I have overpowered it before and I can overpower it again.

On playing for his home-state:

I have never had the opportunity to represent Maharashtra beyond school-level games. So when U Mumba picked me up, it was a dream come true. I have been following the team closely for the last four years and was always in hope of playing for them one day. The team is great and the fans are even better. Playing for U Mumba is like a homecoming for me.

On playing alongside experienced campaigners like Anup Kumar, Nitin Madane and Kashiling Adake:

I am only 20 percent of what Nitin Madane, Kashiling Adake and Anup Kumar are. I have always idolized them and to be able to train with and learn their techniques has indeed helped me up my game. They are all star raiders and being with them keeps me motivated to become a star raider myself. The kind of opportunities I have been given and the faith that the team has shown in me has been an incredible blessing.

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Puneri Paltan Thrashes U Mumba by 33-21

Puneri Paltan Thrashes U Mumba by 33-21

Pune, 28 July, 2017: Puneri Paltan came out all guns blazing as they thrashes U Mumba 33-21 in the second match of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League. A solid all-round team performance by Puneri Paltan’s defenders and raiders was the catalyst in their team’s victory.

Puneri Paltan started the match with great intensity to lead 6-1 after seven minutes and reduced U Mumba to just two players. U Mumba struggled to come to terms in the early part of the match but Anup Kumar scored two points as they trailed 3-7 after nine minutes. In the 10th minute Puneri Paltan inflicted the first all out of the match to lead 11-4.

Puneri Paltan continued their blitzkrieg and led 13-4 after 12 minutes with U Mumba defence struggling badly. In the 13th minute U Mumba got their first tackle point as they trailed 7-13. Kashiling Adake opened his account in the 16th minute as U Mumba trailed 8-13. Puneri Paltan scored four points with two super tackles in two minutes as they ended the first half leading 17-10.

Puneri Paltan began the second half strongly and scored three straight points to lead 20-10 after 23 minutes. Deepak Niwas Hooda scored the first super raid of the season in the 25th minute as Puneri Paltan led 25-10. Such was Puneri Paltan’s dominance that U Mumba failed to score a single point in the first five minutes of the first half. U Mumba managed get four points in the next five minutes as they trailed 14-27 after 30 minutes.

Puneri Paltan’s defence piled the pressure and didn’t give any easy points to U Mumba. It was a disappointing night for U Mumba as their defenders struggled to come to terms with Pune’s raiders. Puneri Paltan recorded a comprehensive win over their rivals as they won 32-21.

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U Mumba test their cooking skills ahead of the fifth edition of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League

Putting their cooking hats on, some of the U Mumba players today teamed up to cook off with the assistance of two brilliant chefs at the Courtyard Marriott. On a day where the winner would be decided based on taste and appearance of the food, captain Anup Kumar, U Mumba's poster boy Shabeer Bapu and Coach E Bhaskaran were their intuitive best as they judged the dishes. While the Maharashtra boys Kashiling Adake and Nitin Madane were on one side, Joginder Narwal and Kuldeep Singh held their own on the other end.

Armed with a set menu and the guidance of the chefs, the newly crowned MumBoys whipped up four superb dishes in just an hour, encouraged by the cheers of their fellow teammates. As coaches Bhaskaran and Ravi Shetty looked on in amusement, plating was complete and it was time for the judgement.

Kashi and Nitin prepared Vegetable Kolhapuri and Jeera Rice, Kuldeep and Joginder whipped up Dal Fry along with their take on Jeera Rice. After a careful round of testing by the coach, the captain and the star players, alongside the head chef of Courtyard Marriott, Kashiling Adake & Nitin Madane.were adjudged the winners of the Cook-Off.


6393 : (L-R) Shabeer Bapu, Coach E. Bhaskaran, Kashiling Adake, Kuldeep Singh, Captain Anup Kumar, Joginder Narwal and the Chefs of Courtyard Marriot pose after the cook-off at the poolside

6364: Coach E. Bhaskaran, Anup Kumar and Kuldeep Singh share alight moment as Shabeer is engrossed in food tasting
6355: The teams rally behind the coach to see his reaction (L to R: Anup Kumar, Nitin Madane, Kashiling Adake, Kuldeep Singh, Joginder Narwal and E. Bhaskaran)

U Mumba test their cooking skills ahead of the fifth edition of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League

U Mumba test their cooking skills ahead of the fifth edition of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League

U Mumba test their cooking skills ahead of the fifth edition of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League

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U Mumba Coach E Bhaskaran shares his thoughts on the team ahead of Pro Kabaddi Season 5

“The morale of the defence is always high when the raiders are strong” – E. Bhaskaran

U Mumba Coach E Bhaskaran shares his thoughts on the team ahead of Pro Kabaddi Season 5

At the onset of the fifth season of the Star Sports Vivo Pro Kabaddi, two-time finalists and Season 2 winners U Mumba are sweating it out in Dehradun at their pre-season camp. With a new team and a group of talented youngsters at the helm, Coach E. Bhaskaran who has been a constant in the team, speaks about the advantages and challenges for U Mumba during the upcoming season that will see four new teams contending for the trophy this year. Excerpts below:

On being one of the stronger teams in the league:

We will definitely benefit from  being amongst the most successful teams in the league. U Mumba is known for its player selection, training, team management and overall functioning. We have developed a reputation of being able to turn lesser known players into stars through constant encouragement and strong performances, something that was evident right from the beginning of the league. Because of all this, opponents look at us differently- we are seen as a threat. There is automatic pressure on them to try and beat us.

On Anup Kumar as Captain

Anup has led the team ever since U Mumba came into existence.. He has a very different reputation among the teams and players- he is an iconic figure in international Kabaddi now. His nickname also ‘Captain Cool’ also describes how well he copes with pressure  and is calm and collective in even the most stressful of situations on the mat. He leads the team exceedingly well. Other than that, he has also been a great raider through the  seasons which is  an added advantage for us. Having a good captain is very important especially when the players keep changing due to auctions. Given his experience, he plays a key role in grooming the youngsters in our side as well. The Captain and coach coordination which is a key factor in any team sport is very good between Anup and which I feel is very important in the overall dynamic of things.

On player fitness during the extended season

Yes, the season is longer but the good thing is that the recovery period after each match has also significantly increased so it works well. There is time to recover and then concentrate on training again.
Our 20-day  fitness camp held in Dehradun was precisely for this reason too.  We wanted to  ensure that the players are physically fit to go through this long season. Choosing a high altitude destination was also to build their stamina and increase endurance for the league.

On why raiders are crucial to the team

I feel every very team this season has good raiders, including us.  We worked on a strategy and managed to achieve exactly what we wanted in the auction. We have 4 strong raiders who will allow the defence to take risks and go for the kill during each of the opponent’s raid.  The morale of the defence is always high when the raiders are strong.

On the new players

From the 136 players that were a part of the New Young Players’ (NYP) Camp this year, the 3 we selected are within the top 20. We chose defenders because we always need back up for defence, especially for such a long season. They are very energetic, have played in the junior, senior nationals as well as the Federation Cup, so come with some experience under their belt.
Barring Anup and Shabeer, all the remaining players are new to the team. Joginder and Suresh come with a lot of experience. Kuldeep is an excellent all-rounder who can destroy a raider. Hadi as a corner is also very strong. So I can’t really comment on who is the strongest as each of them come with a strong, different skill set.

On changes in training

Conducting a fitness camp Dehradun was one of the first key changes in training this season. The next camp (also in Dehradun) will focus on player to player marking with emphasis on team coordination and technique. Both the camps are aimed at preparing the team for the longer season.

Photo : Team U Mumba during their pre-season training in Dehradun
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U Mumba sign off Season 4 with a win over Dabang Delhi

U Mumba sign off Season 4 with a win over Dabang Delhi

The Season 3 finalists unable to qualify for the semis despite spirited comeback

27th July, 2016, New Delhi: It was a bittersweet end for U Mumba as they won 38-34 through a spirted team effort against Dabang Delhi but signalled the end of their Season 4 campaign as they failed to make the play-offs and finished 5th on 42 points.

The game began with U Mumba needing to win over Dabang Delhi by a margin of 45 points, a steep task with the fact that Puneri Paltan had already beaten Bengaluru Bulls in the earlier match. The home team wanted to make a statement to their home crowd and star raider Kashiling Adake along with Prashant Kumar Rai lit up the stage as they out foxed the U Mumba defence to hand them their first all-out in the 10th minute itself, the score being 12-6. While the latter usually set the pace of the game, Delhi wanted to move things along rapidly which threw U Mumba off their game, making mistakes in both attack and defence. In a do or die raid for Prashant Kumar Rai, he was successfully tackled but defender Surjeet was sent out because he had stepped over the end line. A review called by Rakesh Kumar was unsuccessful and U Mumba sank lower, the score being 16-11. The lanky Delhi raider continued to wreak havoc on the orange and black, executing a super raid and leaving Anup as the last man just before half-time to inflict a second all-out inside the first half. The Mumbai outfit went into half-time with the score 24-13 in favour of Delhi.

It looked like a stern half-time talk from coach Bhaskaran because when the second half began, U Mumba began to recall their winning formula. Star raider Rishank Devadiga, who hasn't shown his spectacular Season 3 form in this season, began collecting touch points with ease. Surjeet and Jeeva Kumar, the latter having not performed to expectations this season, were calm and tactical when it came to their tackles. But the sign of the pressure of making the play-offs was seen getting to captain Anup Kumar as he was signalled a two-minute time-out when the referee showed him a yellow card. Soon Dabang Delhi were all-out in the 25th minute through a two-point raid from Rishank with the score 27-24. After this, both captain and team began to dictate the pace of the game and force the Delhi team to commit errors. Rishank was extremely fired up and that was seen in a particular raid where he carried the defender across the mid line. With the margin of qualifying for the play-offs seeming too steep, it looked like the U Mumba side wanted to end things on a high. They took the lead in the match for the first time when Rishank managed to inflict a second all-out, eliminating the last man Meraj Sheykh, the score going to 30-34. Prashant Kumar Rai managed to reach his super 10 raid points just after Rishank. But in the end, when captain Anup rang out the buzzer raid, U Mumba ended their campaign with a win.

Commenting on their journey in Season 4, captain Anup Kumar said, "We won more games than Pune overall but our big loss in the first leg against them hurt us. Our players could not give their 100% and we lost some of our games due to our weak defence. I don't know if our team will be the same next season but we will bounce back."

Coach Bhaskaran dismissed the fact that a complete overhaul of the team was the reason for them missing out on the play-offs. "We lost big names in the auction but our new players from the auction too came after good performances from other teams." When asked the reason for Rishank being unable to repeat his Season 3 form, coach Bhaskaran indicated, "Rishank was the best raider in the first and last game but he lost his rhythm in the middle. Maybe the pressure of performing got to him"

With four season completed for him, Anup indicated his desire to continue playing the game as long as he can. "I will play kabaddi until I am fit and I'm performing well. The day my performance goes down, I will quit. I wish I could play for 15-20 years though."

Rishank Devadiga stretches to reach a Dabang Delhi defender during their encounter tonight in New Delhi
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U Mumba close out thrilling draw against Telugu Titans

The home team constructed a brilliant comeback to secure 3 points

21st July, 2016, Mumbai: In a nail-biting night for home fans, U Mumba scripted a memorable tie against Telugu Titans to keep their play-off hopes alive despite having a lead of 9 points at one stage in the match. They now sit in fourth position with 35 points from 6 wins and 1 draw.

U Mumba close out thrilling draw against Telugu Titans

The match began at a pace that was uncomfortable for the Season 3 finalists who were quickly pushed onto the back foot and reduced to 4 men after star raider Rishank Devadiga and defensive duo Surjeet and Jeeva Kumar were eliminated. Telugu Titans were holding on to a lead of 4 points when captain Anup Kumar decided to take matters into his own hand and began the comeback process. Two touch points and Titans raider Rahul Chaudhari super tackled by Anup himself, the scores became level at 7 all after 10 minutes. This gave the home team the impetus to push forward for the early lead. Suresu Kumar managed to keep the ball rolling and returned with two points in a fantastic raid that saw him weave through the Titans defence. This pushed U Mumba into the lead and soon in a turn of events, with Sandeep Narwal as the Telugu Titans were all-out in the 16th minute with the score 13-7 in favour of the home team. So strong was the U Mumba defence that they managed to subdue both Rahul and former U Mumba raider Prapanjan to bring the score to 16-7 at half-time.

At this point, the home team had scored 10 points in succession without allowing the Titans to score even one point. But when the second half began, it seemed like a different Telugu Titans outfit had come to the mat. A gross error by substitute raider Surender Singh where he stepped into the lobby without touching any defender saw the lead built up by U Mumba being eaten away. Roles were reversed with Suresu and Anup unsuccessful in their raids, leading U Mumba to the inevitable all-out that came in the 27th minute with the score 17-16 in favour of the home team. A series of mistakes saw two men left on the mat for U Mumba when coach Bhaskaran decided to bring back Rishank who then began a frenetic two minutes of the game. First Rishank managed to get in a quick raid with a bonus point. Sandeep Narwal decided to chase him and managed to touch Rishank right when Rakesh Kumar stepped on to the mat. Rakesh then went in to raid and secured two points which brought the score to 22-23 after a manic two minutes. Barely a breather taken when Rahul Chaudhari was once again in the midst of a super tackle, this time orchestrated by Jeeva Kumar, levelling the scores at 24 all. A smart substitution of Vikash Kumar managed to get a touch point after Rakesh was tackled, thus ending the game 25 all and sharing the spoils around.

Captain Anup Kumar was glad about the result, noting that a loss would have complicated things. "We had the match in our hands but our defence slipped in the final moments. I'm glad we had a tie though because a loss would have made things difficult." Commenting on the rise in stature of Suresu Kumar as a key raider, Anup said, "Suresu is playing well. His footwork and dodging have been impressive."

U Mumba will now take on Bengaluru Bulls in their third home match on 22nd July at Dome @ NSCI SVP Stadium.

Anup Kumar stretches during a raid against Telugu Titans in their match on Thursday
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U Mumba take derby revenge on the back of Captain Anup Kumar

The Season 3 finalists begin their home leg with a 34-31 win over local rivals Puneri Paltan

20th July, 2016, Mumbai: In a positive start to their home campaign, U Mumba exacted sweet revenge over state rivals Puneri Paltan, beating them 34-31 in a strong performance led by their captain Anup Kumar who top scored with 11 points overall. This win pushes them into the top four with 32 points from 6 wins.

 Captain Anup Kumar top scored in the match against Puneri Paltan, scoring 9 raid points and 11 points in total

U Mumba take derby revenge on the back of Captain Anup Kumar
Surjeet was adjudged the best defender of the match, single handedly tackling the Puneri raiders

It was imperative for the home team to begin the match strongly because of the memories of their loss to Puneri Paltan earlier in the season. Despite a couple of quick points by captain Anup, it looked like U Mumba would need to pull something spectacular out of the bag to defeat the Pune outfit. The star of their previous encounter, Ajay Thakur was surprisingly ineffective in the first 5 minutes and was kept quiet by the defence of Jeeva Kumar and Surjeet who used brute force through his dashes to keep the raider at bay. Star raider for U Mumba Rishank Devadiga used the support of his home crowd to get back in groove, scoring a vital two points in a do or die raid that saw the Pune outfit being reduced to two men. The all-out might have been delayed by Sonu Narwal but it eventually came in the 17th minute with the score moving to 14-9. The early lead was quickly reduced through an Ajay Thakur super raid that saw both captain Anup and Rakesh Kumar being eliminated. This came just at the cusp of half-time, with the score being 15-13.

With two men left on the mat for the home team, Rishank tried to put his defensive talents to use but despite a substitute being used in Vikash Kumar, the all-out came for U Mumba just 3 minute after half-time giving Puneri Paltan a lead of 3 points. Anup continued to impress despite being tackled for the first time in the match but Pune looked rejuvenated by the all-out that they had secured and continued to maintain that three-point lead. A technical point was awarded to U Mumba through Joginder Narwal being handed a yellow card and from then on, U Mumba never looked back. Rishank continued to churn out successful raids while Anup put in a couple of superb ankle holds in defence to hold off Ajay Thakur. An impressive dash by Surjeet on Sonu Narwal didn't have the desired effect but the Pune outfit were soon reduced to two men and there for the taking. Preetham Chhillar, the last man for Pune, came in to raid but was no match for the power of Surjeet, the second all-out for Pune coming in the 37th minute and taking the score to 30-27. Ajay Thakur managed to touch Rakesh in the raid after that but with Anup's quick thinking and a chase, the raider found himself out of the mat before he could return to the formation. A couple of tackles and an error by Rakesh that saw him step out of the lobby rounded off the match with the captain himself riding out the buzzer raid to seal the 34-31 win and a good start to the home campaign.

The captain, who scored 11 points (9 raid points and 2 tackle points), reminded everyone of how the team used to play earlier. "Tonight we felt it was the U Mumba of old. We must keep up this performance in the remaining games." When asked about the effect that the absence of Puneri captain Manjeet Chhillar had on the game, Coach Bhaskaran conceded that while he was talented, they won on their own merit. "Everyone knows what a good player Manjeet is. Of course he would have made an impact to the game. But I won't say we won because he wasn't in."

U Mumba take on Telugu Titans tomorrow on the 21st of July at Dome @ NSCI SVP Stadium.

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"We have played the last three seasons with confidence and freedom and will aim to do so again this leg", Ronnie Screwvala

U Mumba to commence their home leg on 20 July at Dome @NSCI SVP on the back of mixed bag of matches

19th July, 2016, Mumbai: As U Mumba start their home leg for Season 4 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, the pressure on the team while apparent is not acknowledged. Addressing the press the day before the start of their home leg, Coach E Bhaskaran, a constant the last four seasons, admitted that the season had not panned out as planned and while disappointed in the performance to date, was first to recognize that the mistakes being made were rectifiable.

"We have played the last three seasons with confidence and freedom and will aim to do so again this leg", Ronnie Screwvala

"I am not too delighted with the performance to date, because, the individual performance and the talent of each player has not translated into on-mat performances except for perhaps in two games. We have been making small mistakes, which have set us back, and we have been training day-in and day-out to avoid repeating those same mistakes. We have to win 3 of our 5 games remaining, but for me, the challenge is to win all 5 games - post those victories will I be able to breathe easy. We look forward to a successful home leg." Started Coach E Bhaskaran. Adding to this, Supratik Sen, Co-Owner U Mumba said, "We have not done, what we have done in the previous seasons, but we know we are working towards our best"

Commenting on the season so far, Ronnie Screwvala, Co-Owner U Mumba opined, "I think Season 4 has really brought the game to very very high level for everyone. All 8 teams are playing extremely well and we have had different people come to the fore and you are seeing a lot of diversified talent and I think that is the best think that could happen to the game. I am not privy to the ratings, but what I have understood from Star, the opening week this season, the ratings have gone higher than the previous season, that means for the first time in sport for four consecutive seasons the ratings have gone up and up."  Before adding that there was no pressure on his team at their current position, sharing, "This is a sport, its not some competition, we are not fighting a war, and this is a sport. We have good days and we have bad days, but our greatest sense of pride is that all three previous seasons, we have been to the finals and have won one. And the jury is still out on this season, I think no sport, can start or succeed under pressure. SO the message to our team is to go out there and play our best and of course Kabaddi is as much about playing our best as much as it is about strategy and modifying strategy to the game and end of the day we are not here to be stressed out to about the fact if we are going to be in the semi-finals or not, we are going to play each game against each team in the best possible manner under right guidance of the captain and the coach."

Opening the leg is the famous Maharashtra Derby, an encounter that U Mumba had previously lost this season disappointingly with a large margin of defeat (41-19), a defeat from which U Mumba will have to regroup drastically before their first encounter at home. Captain Cool, Anup Kumar remained his stoic best sharing, "I never comment on a game either before the game or after. We have tried our best and I believe if you try as much as we did, you will succeed. We would look at making a fresh start and would look at a successful home leg." Continuing on that the home support always makes a difference to their game, "This is our city and they come out to support us and that makes a huge difference. Last time we lost to Pune, was in the same stadium, yet the fans were backing us and this time we hope to return that favor."

Local heartthrob, Rishank Devadiga though was quick to conclude that the pressure will never restrict the freedom and movement in their game, concluding, "There is obviously pressure.  We do not feel the pressure on the mat."

L-R: Rishank Devadiga, Coach E Bhaskaran, Ronnie Screwvala (Team Owner, U Mumba), Anup Kumar, Jeeva Kumar, Gurvinder Singh, Supratik Sen (CEO, U Sports)

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U Mumba succumb to loss against defending champions Patna Pirates

16th July, 2016, Kolkata: U Mumba fell to a 34-24 loss to defending champions Patna Pirates in Kolkata. A lack of defensive cohesiveness sees U Mumba continue in 5th place with 27 points from 5 wins ahead of their own home leg.

U Mumba succumb to loss against defending champions Patna Pirates

It was a question of continuing that same momentum gained with wins against Bengaluru Bulls and Jaipur Pink Panthers for the men in orange and black. It was also a question of redemption for U Mumba having won only one of their previous four encounters against the Pirates. With Suresu Kumar starting, it was evident that he would be used for their do-or-die raids and it was thus seen as he returned with a point each to give U Mumba the lead in the 5th minute. Jeeva Kumar was particularly effective with his dash and managed to keep both Pardeep Narwal and Surjeet Singh silent. The score holding at 5 all, it became a game of attrition as strategy indicated points being scored only during do-or-die raids. In a span of 10 minutes, U Mumba went from a tied score to suffering an all-out at the hands of Rajesh and Dharmaraj Cheralathan, the score being 12-6. Patna Pirates showed their intent of keeping up with the fast pace of the game and continued to extract mistakes from the U Mumba defence, unseen in the previous two matches. Star raider Rishank Devadiga didn't come into his own which didn't help matters as the Season 3 finalists were reduced to just one man at half-time through a Rajesh Mondal super raid, the score being 19-8.

In the 21st minute, substitute Surender Singh was tackled and U Mumba were all-out for the second time in the match. This gave Patna Pirates a lead of 14 points and visibly no way back for the men in orange and black. It was at this point that the aim became to close the huge lead and possibly earn a bonus point. With this in mind, the defence began to time their tackles better and soon the attack became more confident. Rishank managed to come back with two points in one raid and while Patna took their time in raiding, U Mumba began to dictate the pace of the game and even effect a super tackle on Rajesh during a do-or-die raid courtesy of captain Anup Kumar, Jeeva and Surjeet. While Anup and Rishank both were trying to quickly close the gap, unfortunately time ran out and Patna rang out 34-24 winners.

With visible errors from the defence part of U Mumba's loss, coach Bhaskaran believes that coordination is the key to eliminating these issues. "Our defenders are individually talented as players but are not clicking together as a unit. The past three seasons, we were coordinated from corner to corner. This time, our cover is from Services and joined us on the eve of the league. This has affected our coordination."

Rishank Devadiga might not have performed to the level of his Season 3 outing but is confident that he will do better come their home leg. "I'm not under pressure but I'm trying my best to make a strong offensive unit."

Coach Bhaskaran is confident that playing at their home ground should turn the tide around. "We are looking forward to going home and playing in front of the home crowd. That always works in our favour!"

U Mumba now return home for their home leg that begins on the 20th of July with a preview press conference to be held at 12:30pm on the 19th of July, Tuesday at Dome @ NSCI SVP Stadium.

Tickets for the U Mumba home leg are available on

Patna Pirates raider Rajesh Mondal manages to break through the U Mumba defence in their encounter in Kolkata on Saturday

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U Mumba announces great offers for home game tickets on bookmyshow

The Caravan arrives in Mumbai between the 20th and 23rd of July

14 July 2016, Mumbai: Hosting the seventh leg of the fourth season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, U Mumba today announced great offers on tickets for their home leg between 20th to 23rd July 2016, on The team will bank on home support when they return to the Dome @ National Sports Club of India (NSCI), SVP stadium in Mumbai for their home leg before heading to the final leg of the league-stage matches in New Delhi.

U Mumba announces great offers for home game tickets on bookmyshow

Mumbaikars are encouraged to pack the stadiums in support for their star-studded home team by purchasing tickets online on or at Hypercity, Vivivana Mall, Thane and Hypercity, Malad. With ticket prices ranging from INR 1000 to INR 5000, fans are also encouraged to buy tickets against their SBI Credit Card for a 10% discount online. This season's tickets are available in three categories - MACHO Stand tickets priced at INR 1000, Rs. 1,200 for tickets in the TATA MOTORS Stand and the Hospitality Stand tickets priced at INR 5000. Fans who purchase tickets in the Hospitality stand will also enjoy complimentary in-stadia food and beverages.

In an offer exclusive to the student community, students can buy MACHO Stand tickets at a discounted rate of Rs.500, on display of their student ID. This offer is exclusively available at the Dome @ NSCI box office, which opens on 18th July. Similarly, members of Kabaddi Clubs across the state can also purchase tickets priced at INR 1000 for a flat fee of Rs.500 at the NSCI Box Office on display of their valid Kabaddi Association card.

NSCI members can avail a special discount of 10% at the Box Office by displaying their membership cards.

The Dome @ NSCI, SVP stadium will play host to the Maharashtra Derby as U Mumba will takes on state rivals Puneri Paltan for their opening home game at the on 20th July, 7:50 pm onwards on Wednesday. The opening day will also see another special event - with a match from the Women's Kabaddi Challenge as the Storm Queens take on the Fire Birds at 9PM.

U Mumba will be in action at their home ground at Dome @NSCI SVP stadium from the 20th to 23rd of July, 2016
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U Mumba set sights on playoffs in the second half of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi

The Bengaluru leg will see U Mumba take on Jaipur Pink Panthers on Thursday

11th July, 2016, Bengaluru: As the second half of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi begins in Bengaluru, a recharged U Mumba will take on Jaipur Pink Panthers on Thursday after a well-deserved break between 9th and 13th July. The Mumbai outfit, after their spectacular 24-23 win against Bengaluru Bulls in Patna, will look to make the most of their long break in the city, aiming to bounce back and climb up the League table, as the business end of the tournament draws near. As of 10th July, they are in fourth position on the table with 22 points from 4 wins.

U Mumba set sights on playoffs in the second half of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi

U Mumba set sights on playoffs in the second half of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi

The confidence level of the U Mumba camp has always remained upbeat despite an erratic season that hasn't displayed the consistency for which the men in orange and black are known. Surprise defeats at the hands of Puneri Paltan and Telugu Titans might have seen the U Mumba campaign pegged back but coach Bhaskaran believes that the momentum is still there. "Half of the season has gone and we are still in a good position to make the playoffs. The players are always happy and positive especially after the win against the Bulls. Losing and winning are all part of the game."

Having played their first match of Season 4 against Jaipur Pink Panthers on 25th June, they will play the reverse fixture here in Bangalore on the 14th of July, having been well rested and rejuvenated. While some might perceive this to be a sign of losing momentum and becoming complacent, Bhaskaran Sir has faith that his players can keep up their hunger to win despite not playing matches for 6 days. "We have been playing continuously and now we have a good long break. The players are professionals and our practice regime ensures that we play matches between ourselves when we have long breaks to ensure peak match fitness. The rest is good but we know we cannot become complacent and take things easy."

With former U Mumba raider Shabeer Bapu stealing the headlines and almost stealing the game away from U Mumba the last time they met, Bhaskaran Sir confirms that the team have learnt from their mistakes and will strive to not repeat them come Thursday. "We all know the strategy that they were using and we have been working towards making changes to our game plan accordingly."

It remains to be seen if U Mumba can display their high levels of consistency as seen in earlier seasons and turn things around.

The U Mumba players deep in conversation as they gear up to face Jaipur Pink Panthers in Bengaluru on Thursday
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U Mumba secure a thrilling win against Bengaluru Bulls

Captain Anup Kumar gets a super 10 in a close encounter

8th July, 2016, Patna: In an exciting night for kabaddi fans, Season 3 finalists U Mumba pulled off a stunning 24-23 win in the final minutes against Bengaluru Bulls. Captain Anup Kumar put in a champion shift to score 11 points with Rakesh Kumar and Sunil chipping in with a stellar performance in defence.

U Mumba secure a thrilling win against Bengaluru Bulls

The first half began on level terms with former U Mumba raider Pawan Kumar securing the first point while star raider Rishank Devadiga failed to get off to a good start. Gurvinder Singh, the former Patna Pirates player, started and opened his tally off the night with a clever raid while Sunil atoned for his mistakes in the previous match against Telugu Titans and put in a good tackle to take the score to 4-3. Former U Mumba corner defender Mohit Chhillar and U Mumba captain Anup Kumar were seen exchanging smiles and keeping the mood relatively light but with teams shifting up and down on the table, the desire to win was strong. Rishank earned his first point of the night but was at the wrong end of a super tackle courtesy Bulls captain Surender Nada and had to sit out for most of the first half. The 'Most Valuable Player' of the tournament in Season 3, Rohit Kumar Choudhary was impressive in the first half, effecting an all-out on U Mumba just before half time by eliminating both Anup and Rakesh in one ago. With the half-time score at 8-14 in favour of the Bulls, a turnaround by the men in orange and black was desperately needed in the second half.

The second half saw all 7 U Mumba men on the mat with Rishank getting another raid point and the score moving to 10-15. Catch-up was on the minds of the U Mumba players and defender Surjeet managed to subdue his Services teammate Rohit with a fantastic tackle that gave signs of things to come. The score at 15-18, captain Anup with the help of Rakesh picked off the Bengaluru players one by one and soon the all-out came for the Bulls in the 33rd minute, levelling the score at 20 all. It was imperative for U Mumba to end the Patna leg with only a win and the lead kept shifting hands until Anup's tactics saw his team take the lead. The buzzer raid by Pawan saw the Bulls earn 1 point and finish on the losing side with U Mumba winning 24-23.

On the significance of returning to his old stomping ground, Rakesh Kumar was complimentary of how the Patna crowd treated their former champion Rohit Kumar Choudhary. "Rohit did get more support than me here and I'm happy for him because he led them to the title last season and he deserves it." On the reason for their nervy win, Rakesh put it down to his comrade and captain, Anup Kumar. "Anup's planning and experience has helped us immensely in the past and it worked again for us tonight in the dying moments. We targeted (Surender) Nada tonight and we were successful."

When asked about Rakesh's role as a defender, coach Bhaskaran explained that his role adapted to the need of the situation. "He is an all-rounder and a very experienced one at that. We trust him to adapt to a needed role at any moment and get us points. We will continue to use him that way because he can turn a match on its head and win it for us."

Captain Anup Kumar was the star performer of the night, scoring 11 points against Bengaluru Bulls in their encounter in Patna on Friday

U Mumba now have a long break before they take on Jaipur Pink Panthers in Bengaluru on Thursday, the 14th of July. 
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"It will be a tough match against Bulls," says Coach Bhaskaran

U Mumba will face Bengaluru Bulls on Friday in Patna

7th July, 2016, Patna: After barely a day's rest, U Mumba will gear up to take on the Bengaluru Bulls in Patna as they close out the first half of Season 4 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. Currently the Season 3 finalists are on fourth place with 17 points from three wins.

"It will be a tough match against Bulls," says Coach Bhaskaran

The current squads of U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls are vastly different from both the starting lineups that faced each other in the final of Season 2 where the former clinched the title. Bengaluru's corner duo, Mohit Chhillar and Surender Nada, were groomed and rose to fame during their time at U Mumba and with Surender Nada captaining the Bulls, the encounter promises to be exciting for both sides. Bengaluru Bulls are currently in third position, just a point ahead of U Mumba with 3 wins as well.

Coach Bhaskaran believes that while they were part of U Mumba, that will not be foremost on their minds come Friday. "Now they are part of Bengaluru Bulls. They are very talented players and will try to win for their team, as will we."

Keeping the defender duo in mind while planning out strategy, former Patna Pirates raider and MVP of Season 3, Rohit Kumar Choudhary has also been putting in an impressive shift for his new team over the past few matches. Bhaskaran Sir is well aware of the new raiding threat from the Bengaluru side and warns his players to learn from their mistakes against Nilesh Salunkhe of Telugu Titans. "Rohit (Kumar Choudhary) is a very talented and tall defender. We will need to look at how we allowed Nilesh (Salunkhe) to take extra points and ensure that we don't commit those mistakes against Rohit."

With a short gap between matches, the team will need to regroup quickly if they are to make a strong charge to the playoffs. Bhaskaran sir confirms that the confidence is high because ultimately it is just a game and there are many more matches to be played. "Some of the players who were expected to perform didn't and that is part of the game. We have had a few words of encouragement with the team and come tomorrow night, all of them will be brimming with confidence and raring to go."

Using inside knowledge of their opposition to gain an advantage, U Mumba taking on Bengaluru Bulls promises to be a thrilling encounter.

The U Mumba defence will be vary of Rohit Kumar Choudhary of Bengaluru Bulls, who plays similar to Nilesh Salunkhe of Telugu Titans.

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"Coordination the key to success", says coach Bhaskaran

The U Mumba coach believes that defensive coordination has been achieved by the new corner pair

Hyderabad, 5th July, 2016: Finally, the U Mumba of old has returned - defence and attack working in tandem and complimenting each other to set up a brilliant win against Bengal Warriors in Hyderabad on Sunday. While the personnel responsible for this might have changed, it is encouraging to see for U Mumba who are aiming to reach the play-offs for the fourth season running.

"Coordination the key to success", says coach Bhaskaran

It can only be described as a shaky start for the Season 3 finalists with their famed defence letting them down in the match against Puneri Paltan only to redeem themselves and beyond in the match against Bengal Warriors. Despite a stellar performance from star raider Rishank Devadiga in the match against Patna Pirates, it was only when the entire team worked together in sync that U Mumba were able to pull off a dominant win. Coach Bhaskaran believes that this was inevitable. "Surjeet, our cover defender joined us just 2 days before the league began. This meant that he had very little time to work on his coordination with the rest of the team. But I believe that now he has sorted out all the kinks and is working very well with Jeeva (Kumar) and the others."

With 16 points from three wins, currently second in the league table, there is a different attitude to the U Mumba side that turn up for matches. They might seem vulnerable and easy to attack but Bhaskaran Sir believes that one reason for their confidence is Rishank's performance that has seen him continue his brilliant form from Season 3, where he was named 'Raider of the Tournament'. "Rishank has grown in his game ever since Season 1 and now his hard work and dedication has only increased. He has the ability to completely change a match which gives confidence to the other players on the team. He is also a team player and always contributes to making the team win."

U Mumba pride themselves on their shrewd strategic decisions and captain Anup Kumar's captaincy has been key in this regard, especially the manner in which he encourages his teammates. Bhaskaran Sir's decision to bring on Suresu Kumar for the do-or-die raids while Rishank was off the mat was instrumental in U Mumba keeping Bengal Warriors at bay. This also brought to light the bench strength that seemed to have weakened after the auction before the start of Season 4. "We were mulling how to use Suresu and decided to try him out for the match against Warriors. It worked brilliantly contributing to the confidence of the team as well. Everyone was happy for him that he played well which meant the mood of the team was also positive. We believe in giving all our players a chance to succeed," concludes Bhaskaran Sir.

With the mood in the camp currently one of optimism, U Mumba face home team Telugu Titans on the 6th of July in Hyderabad.

The U Mumba defence has worked out their kinks and will hope to put up a confident display against Telugu Titans on Wednesday in Hyderabad

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Cycle Pure Agarbathies enters the Pro Kabaddi Arena

~The ‘Carbon Neutral’ Company makes a debut as one of the sponsors for Jaipur Pink Panthers~

Mumbai, 4th July 2016: Cycle Pure Agarbathies, world’s largest incense stick manufacturer, has strengthened their commitment towards development of sports in the country by associating with professional Kabaddi team Jaipur Pink Panthers for Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League Season 4.

Cycle Pure Agarbathies enters the Pro Kabaddi Arena

The Pro Kabaddi League is a professional kabaddi league in India, based on the format of the Indian Premier League T20 Cricket tournament. The league has eight teams from eight different cities, namely Jaipur Pink Panthers, U Mumba, Puneri Paltan, Patna Pirates, Bengal Warriors, Bengaluru Bulls, Dabang Delhi K.C. and Telegu Titans and is formulated as an eight-city league played in a “caravan format”, with the teams travelling to all 8 venues to play a total of 60 matches. The Pro Kabaddi league kicked off in 2014 with Jaipur Pink Panthers emerging as the champions of the first season. The next two seasons were won by U Mumba and Patna Pirates respectively.  

The team from Jaipur will be playing a total of 14 matches in the group stages of the 4th season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League Season 4. The season started on the 25th of June with the first match played between Puneri Paltan and Telegu Titans. Jaipur Pink Panthers, so far, have played 5 matches out of which they have won 2, lost 2 and drawn 1.

The ‘Carbon Neutral’ company has had heavily involved itself in supporting sports in the country in the past. The brand has lent its support to Indian Cricket, Hockey, Tennis, Go Karting, Golf and Chess. However, this is the first time it has stepped into the world of professional Kabaddi.

Mr. Arjun Ranga, Managing Director, Cycle Pure Agarbathies, said, “We at Cycle Pure Agarbathies, have a rich legacy of nurturing sporting talent. We have always tried to foster a sense of respect, reverence and adulation through our innovative products and this association with the Jaipur Pink Panthers is a logical manifestation of our vision. As a brand, we do our best to support all kinds of sports in the country and we are happy to be entering the world of professional Kabaddi. We also believe in supporting and providing reasons to pray, and what could be better than praying for their win.” “We wish Jaipur Pink Panthers all the very best.” added Mr. Arjun Ranga.

Over the years, Cycle Pure Agarbathies has become one of the leading brands to be associated with sports in the country. Their continuous participation in sporting activities has resulted in exciting cricket properties like Red Alert, Third Umpire branding and Milestone branding. Apart from being major sponsors at various cricket tournaments across the world every year, Cycle Pure Agarbathies had launched the widely popular and successful ‘Pray for India’ campaign covering more than 100 cities. When KPL (Karnataka Premier League) was announced, it was felt that a strong association with the tournament will be a rallying point in encouraging and nurturing cricketing talent in the hinterland of Karnataka, giving them an opportunity for professional exposure. This strong urge to promote talent resulted in NR Group taking up the franchise of Mysore Warriors.

Dedicated and continuous focus of Cycle Pure Agarbathies towards nurturing sporting talent has resulted in them being actively involved in the development of different sports like Golf and Tennis. They have been organizing golf tournaments of national repute at regular intervals in and around Mysore, offering aspiring sporting enthusiasts a platform to hone their skills as well as to witness and learn from established professionals. They have also been sponsoring Tennis players like Vasisht Cheruku, Varunya Chandrasekhar and Suraj R Prabodh. In fact, today, Cycle Pure Agarbathies has become a pillar of support for sporting talent in the region.

About Cycle Pure Agarbathies

‘Cycle Pure Agarbathies’ is the flagship brand of the Mysore-based conglomerate NR Group. Cycle is the leading Agarbathi brand in India and is exported to over 70 countries. N .Ranga Rao and Sons, the makers of  Cycle Pure Agarbathies, recently received re-certification as a carbon neutral manufacturer from UK-based The CarbonNeutral Company – the leading provider of carbon reduction solutions in the world.  The distinction makes N. Ranga Rao and Sons the world’s first incense stick manufacturer to receive this recognition. The certification entitles the company to use carbon neutral symbol in all its products representing the quality and sustainable development the company fosters.

Cycle Pure Agarbathies has a wide array of sub brands in its portfolio catering to various segments. Cycle Pure Agarbathies has won numerous Export Awards and Awards for marketing excellence.

About NR Group 

The Mysore-based NR Group was founded by Shri N. Ranga Rao in 1948. A true visionary and philanthropist, Shri. Ranga Rao created the ubiquitous Cycle Pure Agarbathies which has today become the largest selling incense stick brand in the world. From a home-grown enterprise, NR Group has evolved into a successfully run business conglomerate with established presence in India and abroad. The Group has diversified into various business categories like manufacturing of functional air care products (Lia brand of room fresheners and car-fresheners), wellness home fragrance products (IRIS) under Ripple Fragrances and floral extracts (NESSO). The Group is committed towards its social responsibilities and fulfils them through its charity arm ‘NR Foundation’. NR Group today is managed by the third generation of the Ranga family. For more information on NR Group, please visit

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"Anup guided us through to the win" says coach Bhaskaran

The captain's strategy and Rishank Devadiga power U Mumba to a win over Dabang Delhi

Jaipur, 1st July, 2016: Rishank Devadiga brought back memories of his stellar performances in Season 3 when he helped secure a gritty 27-25 win for U Mumba over Dabang Delhi through his top scoring efforts. After this win, U Mumba move to the second spot on the league table, behind Puneri Paltan, with 11 points.

The match began with the lead exchanging hands as each raider would secure points for their team with Rishank and Selvamani doing most of the scoring. Captain Anup Kumar was sedate in his raiding but looked like scoring a super raid only to be adjudged out by a Delhi review. The score was locked at 8 all after Surender Singh scored a bonus point and Kashiling Adake coming in to raid with three U Mumba men left on the mat. Kashi managed to get both Rakesh Kumar and Anup out which saw Surender as last man standing. A valiant effort saw him return only with a bonus point and unfortunately U Mumba were all out in the 16th minute with the score 9-13 in favour of Dabang Delhi. A chase by Rakesh that saw him get tackled took the match into half time with U Mumba trailing 12-14 to Dabang Delhi.

"Anup guided us through to the win" says coach Bhaskaran

"Anup guided us through to the win" says coach Bhaskaran

When the men in orange and black came back for the second half, they were determined to regain the lead and make it stick. Two quick tackles on Selvamani and Deepak Narwal along with a bonus point from Rishank saw the score equalled to 15 all. A do or die raid for Dabang Delhi saw Meraj Sheykh touch Surjeet after an attempted tackle but Rishank shot U Mumba into the lead with a spectacular do or die raid of his own that saw him eliminate three Delhi players in one shot. This left only Kashi on the mat for the Delhi outfit and soon the all-out was secured in the 29th minute, making the score 21-17. Soon it was a series of tackles from both defences that saw the score move to 25-21 with less than 2 minutes remaining. Despite Selvamani getting a point and Surender getting tackled, captain Anup managed to secure a touch point in the buzzer raid, thus sealing a well-deserved 27-25 win for U Mumba.

The star performer of the night, Rishank Devadiga, was extremely happy with the result for his team. "I was itching for a super raid and I'm glad that it came at the right time. It's a great feeling to be a key player in a key match for my team." Coach Bhaskaran concluded that with the auction chopping and changing teams, the playing field has become level. "Now with the different changes, every team is making mistakes. It was sheer strategy on Anup's part in the dying moments that won us the game."

U Mumba now travel to Hyderabad where they will face Bengal Warriors on the 3rd of July.
The U Mumba defence manage to subdue Dabang Delhi defender Kashiling Adake during their match in Jaipur on Friday

Rishank Devadiga was adjudged the best raider of the match between U Mumba and Dabang Delhi in Jaipur on Friday
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Super tackles dominate U Mumba in Patna encounter

The Mumbai outfit loses 34-36 to defending champions Patna Pirates in a nail biting finish

Jaipur, 30th June, 2016: It was a case of so close yet so far for U Mumba as they suffered a 34-36 loss to defending champions Patna Pirates despite equalising the score with barely a minute to spare. The Mumbai outfit continues to sit on 5th place in the league table with 6 points from 3 games, a bonus point with the loss of this game having lost by less than 7 points.

Super tackles dominate U Mumba in Patna encounter

It was a quick and breezy start for U Mumba with star raider Rishank Devadiga securing 3 points in his first two raids and setting the tone for the match. But the men in orange and black soon found themselves left with three men on the mat after a string of poor mistakes by the raiders. It should have been simple for Patna raiders Pardeep Narwal and Rajesh Mondal with three U Mumba defenders on the mat but the two main corners in Jeeva Kumar and Surjeet pulled off something amazing, effecting four super tackles to stave off the all-out. Rakesh Kumar effected his 2nd super tackle of the season, pinning down Pardeep Narwal. Sunil also managed to effect a super tackle against his former teammate while Jeeva and Surjeet secured extra points for U Mumba with super tackles of Rajesh Mondal and Pardeep once again. With the score at 12-9, Pardeep stepped in to raid again, this time getting the all-out with Jeeva and Surjeet unable to super tackle again, helping Patna gain a lead of 2 points with 3 minutes to go till half time. Captain Anup Kumar secured a point for his team and the game went into half time with the score 14-16 in favour of Patna.

The second half saw Suresu Kumar come on for Vikash Kumar to try and bring a change in the raiding scenario for U Mumba. Unfortunately, while the defence was working in tandem, all except for Rishank were unable to return with points and soon U Mumba were all out for the second time in the 28th time with the score 17-27. This shook the team and both Rishank and Anup decided to take matters into their own hands. A brilliant swivel and turn by Anup saw him touch both former teammate Fazel Atrachali and Bajirao Hodage in one raid despite seemingly pinned down. A super raid by Pardeep was nullified 2 minutes later by a Rishank super raid that saw him eliminate both Bajirao, Fazel and Rajesh Mondal in one swift move, moving the score to 25-31. A technical point and a bonus point later, U Mumba were closing the lead to Patna with only two men left in the Patna den. Two calm raids by Captain Anup saw a quick substitution by the Patna camp, bringing on Mahesh Goud to try and hold off the all out. That worked in favour for U Mumba who effected the all out in the 38th minute and tied the score 33 all. A bonus point from Rishank saw U Mumba take the lead but a successful raid by Pardeep in the end saw Patna run out winners with the scoreline 36-34.

Coach Bhaskaran was extremely complimentary of Rishank's performance that saw him score 11 points including 7 touch points but conceded that such nail biters could go either way. "We fought back well today and it was because of Rishank getting back to form which is a great sign for us. Our defence also came together today but in games like these that go to the last minute, things can go either way. I'm not disappointed with the boys but proud of how they came back."

U Mumba next take on Dabang Delhi on the 1st of July at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Super tackles dominate U Mumba in Patna encounter

Rishank Devadiga scored 11 points during the match between U Mumba and Patna Pirates in Jaipur on Wednesday

Super tackles dominate U Mumba in Patna encounter
Surjeet and Sunil Kumar effected two super tackles, including this one on Rajesh Mondal during the match between U Mumba and Patna Pirates in Jaipur on Wednesday 
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Patna Pirates announced their Partners for Pro Kabaddi League (Season 4)

New Delhi, 28 June, 2016: Patna Pirates, Pro Kabaddi League defending champions, announced their partners for the Pro Kabaddi League (Season 4).The Pirates who inflicted a first loss on home team Puneri Paltan with a 30-24 win to start their Pro Kabaddi Season 4 on Monday, signals their intention to defend their title.

The Pirates will proudly don the emblems of Manforce (front), Himalya Men(back) TT garments (arms), Prayag (right leg), Mukund (left leg), Surya LED & Surya Fans (shoulder back) in its jerseys with BEE (apparel partner).

Manforce divisional head Mr Joy Chatterjee said:"May the force be with the team. We wish them all the best."

Commenting on the development, Managing Director of TT Padmini Group, Sanjay Jain, said: "We are happy to be associated with the champion of Patna. It's a perfect partnership for us. Bihar is a very important market for us and we see it as a great communication vehicle to come closer to Bihar."

Business Head, Himalaya Men Rajesh Krishnamurty expressed “We are proud to be the lead sponsors of the Patna Pirates team. Sports as a genre has worked really well for us in the past for our men’s range and this was a natural extension.Pro Kabaddi is a great initiative that is reviving the love for an indigenous sport that originated in India and we are excited to be a part of it.

The motto of the Patna Pirates is to persevere and never let go, and it is with this spirit that the Patna Pirates went on to become the undisputed winners of Season 3. Sports represent fitness, good health and feeling confident about yourself! We saw this aligning very well with Himalaya’s own mantra of spreading happiness through wellness. We have a strong team this year and we will be rooting for them to win this season as well!”

Commenting on the association with Pro Kabaddi Season 4, B. Raju, Managing Director, Surya Roshni Ltd. said, "It felt great to get associated with last year's champion team Patna Pirates for Season 4 of the Pro Kabaddi League. Kabaddi is a sport that every one of us has some memories related to. The sport sort of lost its popularity for some time until it was revived again in the recent times with league matches like the Pro Kabaddi. And we associated with this sport to engage with our audience to further build up the Surya's presence. We wish all the players the very best for this season and look forward to many more associations in coming future."

By Sponsoring Patna Pirates Prayag will get an opportunity to promote a truly Indian Sport while reaching out to the hearts of millions of Kabaddi fans across the country.

“Kabaddi is a high body contact game that needs a Focus, Flexibility, Expertise and Toughness like Prayag CPVC pipes & fittings – “Quality Bemisal Chale Salon Saal” says Nitin Aggarwal MD Prayag

The Pirates, owned by Mumbai-based industrialist Rajesh V Shah, are not only the champions but also have finished in the top four in all the editions so far.

After their opening match win against Puneri Paltan, the Pirates will then travel to Jaipur to play with U Mumba on June 29, followed by a clash against Telugu Titans in Hyderabad on July 3, before moving on to their home leg which commences on July 7.

In the home leg, Pirates will play Bengaluru Bulls, Bengal Tigers, Dabang Delhi and Pink Panthers at the Patliputra Sports Complex, Kankarbagh, Patna.

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U Mumba gearing up for Patna challenge in Jaipur

The Mumbai outfit will take on Patna Pirates and Dabang Delhi at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium

Jaipur, 28th June, 2016: With the first leg of Season 4 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi done and dusted, U Mumba now move on to the pink city where they will face defending champions Patna Pirates and take on Dabang Delhi after a day's break. The Season 3 runners up currently sit on 5th with 5 points after one win and one loss.

U Mumba gearing up for Patna challenge in Jaipur

While their opening match against Jaipur Pink Panthers showcased the indomitable and fighting spirit in their comeback to win the match 36-34 that is known to all, their heavy loss against Puneri Paltan displayed possible cracks in a team that was previously lauded for its consistency and cohesiveness. Coach Bhaskaran conceded that mistakes in defence led to the loss but they were working on ironing those out for the upcoming matches. "Our defence has changed completely and therefore it will take time for the boys to coordinate together. We suffered a loss and the boys have moved on from it. We have many games to play and I am confident the team will step up when they are required."

One also feels that this could be the start of a new winning streak akin to Season 3 when U Mumba suffered a heavy 26-40 defeat at the hands of eventual champions Patna Pirates only to embark on an 11 match winning streak that ended with the loss of the final. Coincidentally this was also the first time that Patna had beaten U Mumba in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. Bhaskaran sir points this winning streak out to a simple format - the defence need to work in tandem for the raiders to gain confidence and score points. It works vice versa too, according to the coach. "Ultimately it is all about working together as a team. When the defenders perform, the raiders excel and vice versa. Our team has changed a lot compared to other teams so it will take time to see the finished product."

Patna are bolstered by the defence duo of Dharmaraj Cheralathan and former U Mumba defender Fazel Atrachali while Dabang Delhi will turn out with the services of former captain Ravinder Pahal, who now plays for Puneri Paltan.

According to Bhaskaran sir, they will be fully prepared for whatever Patna and Delhi throw at them. our strategy will remain the same - We want to score raid points and tackle opposition raiders. Dabang Delhi are a good team and while they may find it tough without (Ravinder Singh) Pahal, they can throw up a surprise."

U Mumba face Patna Pirates on Wednesday, the 29th of June while they play Dabang Delhi on Friday, the 1st of July, both at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

Rishank Devadiga in action during the encounter between U Mumba and Puneri Paltan in Mumbai on Sunday.
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U Mumba lose first Maharashtra derby in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi history

Manjeet Chillar and Ajay Thakur power Puneri Paltan to a 22 point victory

Mumbai, 26 June 2016: Defying history, Puneri Paltan stumped U Mumba as they won the first Maharashtra Derby of the season 41-19, at Dome at the NSCI SPV stadium in Mumbai today. Unable to maintain their unbeaten streak against the Pune team, Mumbai lost the match to their state rivals courtesy of power-packed performances by Manjeet Chillar and Ajay Thakur who dominated the mat across both the halves of the match.

U Mumba lose first Maharashtra derby in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi history

The first half belonged to Puneri Paltan as an in-form Ajay Thakur took U Mumba to task inflicting three super raids, sending three players back to the bench on each occasion allowing no time for the opponent to settle down. With Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chillar outsmarting every U Mumba strategy, the Orange and Black army were all-out twice within 10 minutes of the match. The only silver lining in the first half was debutant Vikash Kumar, who even under tremendous pressure was the best raider for the team during the first half with two consecutive successful raids to his name. Taking advantage of U Mumba's inability to settle down on the mat, Puneri Paltan took a 16 point lead over them, gaining the upper hand on the proceedings of the match at half time.

With the focus on narrowing the margin of points, the beginning of the second half saw Rakesh Kumar executing the perfect super-tackle, sending Deepak Hooda out and more importantly, saving the team from another all-out. Stepping up, Captain Anup Kumar followed suit and scored a 3-point raid that included a bonus and two touches to his credit. However, a costly error of judgement from Jeeva and Rishank's loss of balance soon turned the game in Pune's favour yet again. With four minutes to go and U Mumba denied every single chance to make any sort of a comeback, the team had their fate sealed as they faced their third all-out of the night. A shaky start and a few costly errors saw Mumbai succumb to a 22-point defeat against Pune.

Reflecting on the match Anup Kumar said "The team needs to re-group and the defence has to come together. We have to work on minimising errors and come together as a unit. We are going to Jaipur tomorrow and will be working on strategizing and more importantly execution of the strategies on the mat"

U Mumba now move to Jaipur, where they will take on defending champions Patna Pirates, on 29th June 2016 at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium.

Ajay Thakur dominated the mat across both the halves of the match

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