Rahul Chaudhari achieved a slice of history on Friday as he became only the third raider in Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) history to cross the 1000-raid points mark. The Jaipur Pink Panthers raider achieved the feat in his 139th game, during his side's match against Dabang Delhi.
Who is Rahul Chaudhari?
Rahul is one of the first superstars of the modern game. His flamboyance on and off the mat earned him the nickname Showman. He was the OG raiding hero, much before the likes of Pardeep Narwal and Pawan Sehrawat emerged.
Away from the kabaddi mat, Rahul has a huge collection of cars and even has a song to his name.
Why is this record special?
The record is a testament to his consistency over the last decade. He's played in every season of the Pro Kabaddi League and has remained one of the most sought-after raiders. A veteran of the game, he's in an elite group of three - including Pardeep and Maninder Singh - to cross 1000 raid points.
Rahul Chaudhari's PKL journey
Rahul cut his teeth at Telugu Titans for six seasons before making a switch to Tamil Thalaivas the next season. He then [barely] played for Puneri Paltan in season eight before joining former champions Jaipur Pink Panthers for PKL 9.
S1: Made debut, was the second-best raider that season with 151 raid points.
S2: Bagged 98 points [second-most].
S3: Had an 87-point [fourth-best] season.
S4: His most successful campaign to date. He picked up 146 raid points and led Telugu Titans to the playoffs for the second time. He was the top raider that season.
S5: Rahul scored a stunning 184 raid points [sixth-best], his best tally ever, but it went in vain as Telugu Titans managed only seven wins in 22 games and failed to progress to the playoffs.
S6: He continued to perform with 159 raid points in his final season with the Titans, but the side once again finished fifth in Group B and did not advance to the top six.
S7: Rahul joined Tamil Thalaivas and was the team's top raider with 130 raid points. However, his form took a beating and the likes of Pawan Sehrawat, Pardeep Narwal and Naveen Kumar began to seize the mantle.
S8: Puneri Paltan signed up Rahul for season 8, but he got little to no game time. He played only seven games, put in only 35 raids and managed only 13 points.
S9: Joined Jaipur Pink Panthers for Rs. 10L. Has been deployed as a support raider and has also played in the left-corner position in defence. Has played all eight games so far.
What can you expect from Rahul this season?
Rahul comes into PKL 9 on the back of leading Uttar Pradesh to the National Games title last month. It's no secret that he's in the dwindling stages of his career, but he continues to remain an effective player - an able raider and a handy defender. Jaipur Pink Panthers will bank on his experience as they look to win their second title.