| (From left) Korea’s Tae Deok Eom, Pakistan’s Waseem Sajjad and Turkmenistan’s Dovlet Bashimov. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna, Aug. 9: Indian cuisine has floored Patna Pirates’ foreign kabaddi players.
If there’s anything that excites these men after kabaddi, it’s Indian food and the hospitality at the ongoing Pro Kabaddi tournament.
The Patna Pirates team owned by Rajesh Shah of Mumbai’s Mukund Steel has bought three foreign players — South Korean Tae Deok Eom, Pakistan’s Waseem Sajjad and Turkmenistan’s Dovlet Bashimov in this edition of the league. Eom was picked up for Rs 6 lakh, Sajjad’s bid price was Rs 5.2 lakh while Bashimov’s bid price was Rs 2 lakh.
Eom, who produced some stunning defence for home team Patna Pirates against U Mumba at the ongoing Pro Kabaddi likes all type of breads, be it roti, chapati, paratha and naan but his favourite item is is naan with tandoori chicken.
Eom, playing his first game yesterday, produced a stunning defence in the last minute of the 40-minute game to hold U Mumba to a draw (37-37). Eom said: “I like Indian cuisine, especially tandoori chicken and naan. Apart from tandoori chicken, Eom, who is visiting India for the fourth time, likes vegetables cooked in rich spices.”
The Korean player said: “I have visited India on several occasions to take part in various tournaments and camps. I am used to the Indian cuisine and I quite like it. Among sweet dishes, my favourite is Bengal’s famous rosogulla. I make it a point to have it after dinner.”
Eom’s teammate Waseem too loves Indian cuisine. He said: “As the culture of India and Pakistan is similar, I love all types of Indian food.” The player who hails from Faisalabad, the hometown of spinner Saeed Ajmal, loves to eat vegetarian during the day and opt for non-veg dishes during dinner. Waseem said: “During lunch, we avoid non-vegetarian dishes as they are rich in calories. I prefer light food such as rice and dal with salads and vegetables.”
He claimed that Patna was no different from any Pakistani city with the similar infrastructure. “My friends and relatives from back home have been calling me regularly enquiring me about India and the people. I tell them India is no different from Pakistan.”
Waseem, who is one of the best defenders of Patna Pirates, claimed that kabaddi in Pakistan is different than what it is in India. In India, the Asian style of kabaddi style is more popular, while circle kabaddi in played more in Pakistan. In India, circle kabaddi is popular in Punjab.”
Waseem said he loves watching Bollywood movies though he has no idea about any politician here. His favourite actors are Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn and Amitabh Bachchan. On whether he has seen any movies of Abhishek Bachchan, the owner of Jaipur Pink Panthers, Waseem said: “I have watched a few movies of Abhishek but more movies of his wife Aishwarya Rai.”
Bashimov, who is yet to play his first game in the league, is impressed with the hospitality of Patna Pirates. The 18-year-old, who doesn’t know English or Hindi, understands what his team mates tell him during training sessions.
An official of the Patna Pirates team said: “Earlier, Bashimov faced difficulties with Indian cuisine but now he is adjusting and loves eating all types of food here.”