Ajay Thakur, an Indian professional kabaddi player, has established himself as a prominent figure in the sport. He proudly served as the captain of the Indian National Kabaddi Team and contributed to their success. Notably, he played a pivotal role in securing gold medals for India at both the 2014 Asian Games and the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.
Ajay Thakur, whose nickname is Sonu, Ajay Thakur – Facebook was born on Friday, May 1, 1987 (age 36 years; as of 2023) in Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh. His zodiac sign is Taurus. Ajay Thakur completed his schooling at Government Senior Secondary School, Dabhota. He further pursued his education at Government Post Graduation College in Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh. Ajay Thakur – Facebook He is also a graduate of the Himachal Pradesh Police Academy.
Height (approx.): 6’ 1″
Weight (approx.): 76 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Body Measurements (approx.): Chest: 42”; Waist: 34”; Biceps: 15”
Parents & Siblings
Ajay’s father Chottu Ram is an ex-sportsperson who has represented India in the past.
The name of his mother is Rajinder Kaur.
He has a younger brother named Abhinandan Chandel and a sister named Disha Thakur.
Wife & Children
He married Sandeep Rana at Jogo village in Nalagarh on Wednesday, 10 April 2019.
The couple has a daughter named Anaya Thakur (b. April 27, 2021).
Ajay Thakur made his Pro Kabaddi debut in 2014 with the first season. He represented his employer Air India at the Industrial National Championships. He also captained the Indian team in 2017 and led them to gold. He has also led the Himachal men’s team at the 67th Senior Nationals Kabaddi Championship 2020. In addition to his sporting achievements, Thakur is also a dedicated member of the Himachal Pradesh Police Service, currently holding the position of Deputy Superintendent of Police in Una, Himachal Pradesh.
In Season 1, playing for the Bengaluru Bulls, he participated in 15 matches, securing 122 raid points and 5 tackle points.
In subsequent seasons, he showcased his skills while playing for different teams, including the Puneri Paltan and Tamil Thalaivas, accumulating notable raid and tackle points.
Kabaddi World Cup 2016
Thakur’s outstanding performance was also showcased during the Kabaddi World Cup 2016, where he emerged as the top raider with the most raid points and the highest overall point scorer with 68 points. Notably, in the final match against Iran, Thakur played a crucial role by executing a 4-point raid that propelled India to take the lead. His exceptional performance led to him being recognized as the Man of the Tournament in the Kabaddi World Cup 2016.
Exemption from Pro Kabaddi League 2019
Thakur addressed a letter to Anupum Goswami, the Commissioner of the Pro-kabaddi League, specifically seeking an exemption for this particular season without providing any explanation. It was reported that Thakur was involved in a conflict with the state Kabaddi association, leading him to resign as captain of the state Kabaddi team on July 17, 2022. Additionally, he requested that his name be excluded from the roster of the senior national team. The Tribune
Suspended for Whereabouts Violation
On March 19, 2021, Ajay Thakur received a notice of provisional suspension under Article 2.4 of the anti-doping rules. The suspension was imposed due to Thakur’s failure to submit his whereabouts within the designated timeframe. Notably, Thakur captained the Indian team during the 2018 Asian Games, where they successfully defended their title and secured a bronze medal. The Tribune
Unhappy with Cash Reward
Ajay Thakur was in the news when he expressed his discontentment regarding the cash prize provided by the government to players. The talented raider showcased his prowess by scoring 14 points against Iran, leading to an unforeseen comeback and ultimately securing victory for India in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Deccan Chronicle He said,
“The entire team was given Rs. 10 lakh by the Sports Ministry, and that is it. If you divide it yourself, you will realise the amount is nominal. I am not saying that we should be showered with gifts. But sporting achievements regardless of the sport should be celebrated.”
Blamed Inappropriate Selection for Defeat in 2018 Asian Games
The Indian captain, Ajay Thakur, also attributed their decline at the Asian Games to the selection controversy. He expressed frustration with the selection process, noting that the team faced mounting pressure even before the competition began. Unfortunately, the Indian Kabaddi Team suffered a defeat against Iran in the semifinals, thus eliminating their chances of competing for the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games. This marked the first time in 28 years that the Indian Team had to settle for a bronze medal. Adding to the controversy, Honappa Gowda, a former Kabaddi player and recipient of the Arjuna Award, filed a petition two weeks prior to the Asian Games, raising concerns about the unjust selection process. Times of India
Use of Foul Langauge and Refusal to Apologise
The Himachal Pradesh Kabaddi Association has demanded an unreserved apology from Ajay Thakur, a former captain of the national squad and recipient of the Padma Shri award, for accusing the association of corruption in the selection process of the state team. Rajkumar Branta, the president of the association, stated in a press conference that if Ajay fails to apologize within a week, a legal notice will be served to him. Branta further mentioned that Ajay, who holds the position of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), used inappropriate language on social media, and the matter would be brought to the attention of the Director General of Police (DGP). Branta clarified that a three-member committee was formed on July 14 to investigate the corruption allegations raised by Ajay, and the committee’s report, submitted on Saturday, found the allegations to be false. Branta expressed his view that if Ajay had evidence of any wrongdoing, he should have approached the association instead of making public accusations. Meanwhile, Ajay, while addressing the media in Nalagarh, stated that he would not apologize. He emphasized that he was speaking out for talented athletes who were not selected for the senior national team. Ajay questioned the association members, stating that they should resign, and expressed his concern over non-sporting individuals being in charge of the association. The Tribune
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Arjuna Award (2019)
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- Padma Shri (2019)
- Man of the tournament in Kabaddi World Cup 2016
- Parshuram Gaurav Award by Himachal Government
- Brand ambassador of SOTO (State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation)
- Ajay Thakur has been honoured by the World Book of Record UK London.
- Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games Kabaddi – Gold Medal (2013)
- Gold Medal at Kabaddi at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games
- 2014 Asian Games – Gold Medal
- Asian Kabaddi Championship 2017 (Gorgan, Iran) – Gold Medal.
- World Cup 2016 (Ahmedabad, India) – Gold medal
- Asian Games 2018 (Jakarta, Indonesia)- Bronze Medal
Ajay owns a Royal Enfield.
Singer: Sidhu Moose Wala
- Ajay Thakur was born into a family that was already involved in Kabaddi. His father, Chottu Ram, had represented India in sports in the past, and his cousin, Rakesh Kumar, is also an accomplished Kabaddi player. This familial influence got him into the sport at an early age.
- He started playing kabaddi when he was young and played his first match at the age of 10 in a 32 kg kabaddi event in his village.
- He has a huge fanbase that has given him many nicknames including known by the names Ice Man, Flying Thakur, and King of Kabaddi.
- Ajay has played as a raider for the team and his signature move is Frog Jump, which is often seen during the game. This move not only brings points but also adds a thrilling element to the game.
- Ajay had a spine injury in 2021 during one of the tournaments and went through surgery in 2022.
- In the Pro Kabaddi League, Thakur has played for teams like Bengaluru Bulls and Puneri Paltan. However, he is most recognized for his stint with the Tamil Thalaivas, where he served as a captain. His jersey number for the team Puneri Paltan was number 7.
- Ajay on the same day also announced his plans to open a sports academy for the youth of Himachal in Dabhota, Solan. Amar Ujala
- He is a brand ambassador for several companies, including PNB MetLife, Amway, and Gatorade. He is a philanthropist and has been involved in several charitable initiatives.
- The Kabaddi player is also very active on social media and has a YouTube channel with almost 62K subscribers.
- Ajay also acted in a 2023 music video called Maidaan.
- The Indian skipper likes to keep himself fit and is often seen hitting the gym with his other teammates. He also likes to swim.
- Ajay is also passionate about horses and loves to do horse riding.
- He is an animal lover who loves to help street animals and encourages his fans to do the same via his social media. Besides, he also had a pet pitbull dog who died in 2021. Ajay has some birds and rabbits at his native place.