There have been instances in the past when this man cleaned up a defensive wall even before his name was completed in commentary. Such is the bundle of zest the sprightly Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh (Bengal Warriors) carries on the kabaddi mat.
The Kolkata-based franchise shelled out Rs 77.75 lakh, in a bid to reinforce its squad. Despite grabbing the headlines in the pre-season, the all-rounder is chilled out ahead of the seventh edition. “I always make sure my mind is free. I have played in a similar league in Iran. I have been watching these teams for the past four years on TV. So, I feel I can do well,” said Nabibakhsh.
“BC Ramesh is a very good coach. He interacts with me on a regular basis and hence my confidence levels are high,” added the Asian Games gold medallist. Only after going all the way with the national team in Jakarta in 2018, Nabibakhsh got the nod from his Board to ply his trade in PKL.
“All the players wish to play in this league. I used to request the Federation to allow me, but it would reject it. After winning the gold medal at the 2018 Asiad, it got to know we are good enough to come to India. That is why I and Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsoudlou enrolled our names ahead of the auction,” the debutant revealed.
Bengal has another Iranian in its roster in Mohammad Taghi Paein Mahali, who is also yet to make a PKL appearance. Nabibakhsh appears to be having a pleasant time with him in his ‘home’ away from home. “We are very good friends, we have known each other for eight years. He didn’t make the bus to Indonesia (for the Asian Games) and was a bit down because of that. I am very happy he is with me now at Warriors,” stated the ever-charming player. – SS