Ashan Kumar is a former Indian professional Kabaddi player and coach, who has made a significant contribution to the sport both nationally and internationally. He was the captain of the first Indian team that won the gold medal at the Asian Games in 1990, and has also coached several teams, including Iran, South Korea, and Tamil Thalaivas. He is currently the head coach of the Indian national Kabaddi team and the recipient of the prestigious Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award.
Early life and education
Ashan Kumar was born on 15 April 1960, in Bhera village, in the Bhiwani district of Haryana1. He took up Kabaddi during his school days and developed a passion for the sport. He completed his graduation from Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, and later obtained a diploma in coaching from the National Institute of Sports, Patiala.
Ashan Kumar started his playing career as an all-rounder, who could excel in both raiding and defending. He represented his state, Haryana, in several national tournaments and won many accolades. He also played for the Indian Railways and the Services teams in domestic competitions.
He made his international debut for India in 1986, and soon became the captain of the team. He led India to the gold medal at the first Asian Games in 1990, held in Beijing, China. He also participated in the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan, where India won the silver medal. He retired from playing in 1996, after winning the gold medal at the South Asian Games in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
After retiring from playing, Ashan Kumar pursued his coaching career and became one of the most successful and influential coaches in the history of Kabaddi. He has coached various teams at different levels, both in India and abroad. Some of his notable coaching assignments are:
- Coach of the Indian national team in 1998, when they won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand1.
- He was the coach of the Iran national team in 2010, when they won the silver medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, defeating India in the semifinals.
- She was the coach of the South Korea national team in 2018, when they won the silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, defeating India in the group stage and semifinals.
- Puneri Paltan team in the Pro Kabaddi League in 2017 and 2018, guiding them to the playoffs in both seasons.
- Currently the head coach of the Tamil Thalaivas team in the Pro Kabaddi League, and has led them to their first-ever semifinal appearance in the ongoing season.
- Also the head coach of the Indian national team since 2021, and has won the gold medal at the South Asian Games in Kathmandu, Nepal, and the Asian Championship in Lahore, Pakistan.
Awards and recognition
Ashan Kumar has received several awards and recognition for his achievements and contribution to the sport of Kabaddi. Some of them are:
- Awarded the Arjuna Award by the Government of India in 1999, for his outstanding performance as a player.
- She was awarded the Bhim Award by the Government of Haryana in 1994, for his excellence in sports.
- He was awarded the Bharat Gaurav Award by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India in 1993, for his services to the sport.
- Dronacharya Award by the Government of India in 2021, for his exceptional coaching skills.
Ashan Kumar Personal details
Ashan Kumar is married to Sunita Sangwan, who is also a former Kabaddi player and coach. They have two sons, Ankit and Ankush, who are also Kabaddi players. Ashan Kumar is currently based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where he works as a coach at the Sports Authority of India. Ashan Kumar 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 78 kg. Known by his nicknames “Silent killer” and “Legend in Kabaddi” by his fans and peers