Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: “South Korea very close to reaching India’s level,” says Bengal Warriors raider Jang Kun Lee
In just four seasons of its existence, the Pro Kabaddi League has captured the imagination of viewers in India and has made the players household names across the nation. The fifth edition will get underway later this month and promises to be bigger and better than ever – featuring 12 teams contesting 138 matches across three months.
Each team sports a new look after the auction in May and as a result, there are only four players who hold the distinction of having played for the same team in all five seasons. And only one of them is a foreign player – Korean star Jang Kun Lee.
Lee, over the course of the league, has matured into one of the best raiders in the world and played an instrumental role in his nation’s opening-day victory against India at last year’s Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad. He will turn out for the Bengal Warriors for the fifth edition in a row and will look to take them to the title that has eluded them so far.
We at Sportskeeda caught up with him in an interview, where he spoke about the new season, his Pro Kabaddi idol and the growth of Korean kabaddi. Here are a few excerpts! You are one out of just four players that have played for the same team across the 5 seasons. How do you feel about that? I really appreciate that my team, the Bengal Warriors have retained me consistently and have shown their confidence in me. It feels great to be a part of the side yet again. I will give my best on the mat and look to make my team proud. What are your thoughts on the season lasting over three months? Do you think it will be possible for a player to play in all games? Even though our season is long this time around, I am keeping myself fit and active. I don’t see any problem in terms of being fit and playing in all the games. What are your thoughts on your team’s performance in the auction? Do you feel you have a strong side that can win the title? Yes, certainly! We are all a passionate bunch of people and we will play as a team. We have a strong squad this season and we certainly have the ability to win the title as well. Which team do you think poses the biggest threat in the competition? I do not see one particular team as a threat. This season will be a good one as we will get to play against some great players. Although, I do feel that the UP Yoddha is quite strong as a team and it will be very challenging for us to play against them. Do you think South Korea can reach the level of India in kabaddi any time soon? Yes, of course! I certainly think that South Korea has the potential to reach the level of India. We are working very hard on sharpening our skills and are very close to our goal. Who is your favourite kabaddi player, who you look to idolise? I really like Anup Kumar. He is not just a good player technically, but he is also very good at controlling the game and keeping it balanced. What do you do in your free time here in India? In my free time here, I like to listen to music or watch a few movies.