Jaipur Pink Panthers' ace left corner Amit Hooda heaped praise on franchise owner Abhishek Bachchan in a recent interview with Pro Kabaddi. He spoke about how Bachchan plays a vital role in helping players fulfill their potential, and the way he treats them as family both on and off the mat.
Abhishek Bachchan has been associated with the Pro Kabaddi League ever since its inception. The Bollywood star has attended almost every match of his franchise since the league began. His franchise won the inaugural edition of the PKL.
While speaking to PKL's official website, the Haryana-born defender revealed that the way Abhishek Bachchan motivates the players and makes them feel as if he's one of the senior players of the team, and not the owner.
"Abhishek Bachchan sir has always treated the players in the team like his younger brothers. The way he gets along with the team members, sometimes it feels like he's one of our senior players and not the owner,”said Hooda.
Hooda spoke on how Abhishek Bachchan wholeheartedly engages himself in the team's activities without any sort of intimidation towards the players.
“Right from joining us at the dining table to coming along to the airport in the team bus, Abhishek sir makes sure we feel like we are all a part of the same Jaipur Pink Panthers family," Hooda added.
“When we are on the road, we always share a good laugh. And his motivational pep talks before the start of the game get us charged up and raring to go," expressed Hooda.
Abhishek Bachchan helps team members even with personal issues: Amit Hooda
Jaipur Pink Panthers recently launched a documentary web-series named 'Sons Of The Soil' on Amazon Prime Video which depicts the journey of the franchise in the seventh edition of the league. In the series, Abhishek Bachchan can be seen encouraging the team during their series of losses that took place in PKL 7.
Amit Hooda said Bachchan has always encouraged them to work hard in practice sessions to deliver results during matches. He advised them to leave behind a legacy that people will remember for years.
"He reminded us that people become fans of what they see on the mat, but they remain your fans owing to what you do in training.The harder you toil in practice sessions, the more fans will remember you for your game when you step in to play. It’s more than just about him or the team. The biggest reason to toil is to leave behind a legacy which people will remember for years to come," Hooda said.
Hooda started his comeback season with a bang, scoring a High-5 in his very first match of PKL 7. Even though the ace defender got injured mid-season, he managed decent numbers with 44 tackle points to his name in 16 matches. He ended his campaign as the third-best defender for Pink Panthers.
Speaking about the team's mantra 'Once a Panther, Always a Panther,' Hooda said that Abhishek Bachchan helps the players like they're family members even with their personal life issues.
“Abhishek sir goes out of his way to help the team members even if they are struggling with any personal issues. Even for the two seasons I wasn’t with the franchise he used to treat me just like a family member. He is truly a man of his word,"Hooda concluded.
Jaipur Pink Panthers won the inaugral title, and attained the runners-up spot in PKL 4. Despite having a star-studded squad over the years, the franchise is still seeking its second Pro Kabaddi title.