Masud Karim returned to Bangladesh on Tuesday with unforgettable memories of the sixth edition of Indian Pro Kabaddi League, which he took part in as a replacement for the injured Solaiman Kabir.
Karim, who did not expect to get such an opportunity to play for UP Yoddha -- which finished third in the 12-team table, was pleased with the experience he gained during his 67-day involvement with the league where players like Arduzzaman Munshi, Ziaur Rahman (Sr), Ziaur Rahman (Jr), Zakir Hossain, Tuhin Tarafdar and Solaiman had earlier represented Bangladesh.
Karim, who played in the Pakistan Super Kabaddi League, participated in only five matches as substitute and earned four points from raids. The 30-year-old, who represented Bangladesh in the last four years and captained the side in the 2018 Asian Games, was excited about his on-field and off-field experiences during which he heard praise of the Bangladesh cricket team and ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza.
“It has been a dream come true for me because I did not expect to get the opportunity to play in the Indian Pro Kabaddi. I was lucky to train with other players under the best coaches. It was an unbelievable experience to travel from state to state,” said Karim over phone. “I have seen many Indian players who don't have education and don't even bother about it because they know well that if they become good players, kabaddi would be a financially rewarding career.
“If we had such kabaddi tournaments in Bangladesh, the whole picture of the sport would have changed,” opined Karim, who enjoyed the company of top Indian cricketers during off-field activities as the owners of UP Yoddha also own the Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Daredevils.
“Shikhar Dhawan was the brand ambassador of UP Yoddha. Many cricketers from Delhi Daredevils came to inspire us. I took a picture with Dhawan and talked to him and he praised our cricket captain Mashrafe. He told me that the cricket of Bangladesh has progressed a lot. He also wanted to know whether a kabaddi league is being held in Bangladesh. Apart from the cricketers, we also met the actors of the silver screen. I also shook hands with [actor] Abhishek Bachchan.”