Ajay Thakur is a professional Indian kabaddi player who currently plays for Dabang Delhi in the popular domestic league, Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), and also served as the former captain for the Indian National Kabaddi Team.
He is a national player and a government employee serving as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the Himachal Pradesh Police.
Regarded as one of the best contemporary kabaddi players, he has contributed to his nation to win multiple gold medals and trophies in various international tournaments, including the Kabaddi World Cup in 2016.
Moreover, talking about his performance in domestic league games, over the years, he has established himself as an excellent raider scoring high raid points consistently for his team every season. However, he has not won any league titles while representing his club.
He is always vibrant in his gameplay with unmatchable enthusiasm while on the court. In addition, he displays outstanding individual performance in raid attacks and marks his presence in every game as a key team player assisting his teammates in defense.
There have been numerous instances where he had saved his team from loss, uplifting them even from the direst of situations when everyone else had already accepted the defeat.
Thakur possesses a determined fighting spirit that sports like kabaddi require with his strong physique and tall height. Maybe because of these qualities, he has always been able to put up an incredible spectacle every time the athlete steps out on the court.
We shall know more about him in detail now. But first, let’s look at some quick facts.
|Full Name||Ajay Thakur|
|Date of Birth||May 1, 1986|
|Birth Place||Dabhota, Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh, India|
|Nicknames||Iceman, King of Kabaddi, Sonu|
|Alma mater||Government Post-Graduation College, Nalagarh|
|Father’s Name||Chhotu Ram Thakur|
|Mother’s Name||Rajinder Kaur|
|Age||36 years old|
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 inch)|
|Weight||76 kg (168 lbs)|
|Wife’s Name||Sandeep Kaur Rana|
|Daughter’s Name||Anaya Thakur|
|Profession||Kabaddi Player, Police Officer|
|League||Pro Kabaddi League (PKL)|
|Currently Plays For||Indian National Team, Dabang Delhi|
|Net Worth||10-15 Crores|
|Signature Move||Frog Jump|
|Career Highlights and Awards||
|Social Media||Facebook, Instagram, Twitter|
|Merch of Kabaddi||Notebook|
|Last Update||January, 2023|
Early Life, Family and Education
On May 1, 1986, Ajay was born to working-class parents, Chhotu Ram Thakur and Rajinder Kaur, in the small village of Dabhota, Nalagarh, in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, India. His father is a retired Police officer, and his mother was a housewife and teacher.
His father, Chhotu Ram, was quite good at wrestling and other sports, including kabaddi. So, from a very young age, Ajay developed a keen interest in kabaddi and started playing at the age of 10.
Even though he hailed from a family with lower economic background, both his parents remained quite supportive and encouraged him when he started playing kabaddi.
Apart from engaging in sports in his childhood, he was quite good at his studies. Thakur completed his high school education at a government-funded school nearby his village and later graduated from Government Post Graduation College, Nalagarh.
As his mother was a teacher, she encouraged him to be a government employee after graduation. He had wished for the same as he had no idea that he could build his career as a kabaddi player at that time.
His main inspiration was Vijender Singh, the Indian kabaddi player. His cousin, Rakesh Kumar, is also a famous Indian Kabaddi player who played for the Indian National Team and various clubs such as Patna Pirates, U Mumba, etc., in the PKL.
Age, Height, and Weight of Ajay Thakur
The renowned kabaddi star is 36 years of age. He has achieved remarkable feats at such a young age, earning nicknames from fans such as Iceman and King of Kabaddi. He hopes to achieve even more for his team in the upcoming years.
Ajay is quite tall for an average Indian male height. The Indian Kabaddi player stands at 6 feet 1 inch, which helps him reach his opponents easily during the game.
He weighs around 76 kg (168 lbs) at present. However, in an interview some years ago, he stated that he was just 35 kg when he started playing kabaddi tournaments at 13.
Even when he made his debut for the senior Indian national team, he was just about 62 kg but later over the years, he gained weight but now maintains his body by working out routinely.
Ajay Thakur | Career
Often described as one of the best Indian raiders, Ajay started participating in kabaddi tournaments at 13. His cousin, too, had started playing together alongside him, so it proved to be of great help.
Soon after Ajay graduated from college, he started working for Air India, an international airline company. As an employee, he represented Air India in Industrial Kabaddi Championship during this same time.
After being part of the senior Indian National Team, he later came into the limelight. The same year, his team won gold at Asian Indoor Games (2007). Thakur was just 19 years old at that time, and it was his first-ever international medal.
Since then, the athlete has made numerous appearances in the kabaddi court wearing blue proudly representing India, and has won major trophies and medals for his nation.
Ajay represented India in the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and won gold, followed by another victory at Asian Games held in 2014, both organized in Incheon, South Korea.
Continuing his outstanding performance, he made it into the final squad of the Indian National Team in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup held in Ahmedabad, India. Thakur outshone everyone else and became the top raider of the whole event, scoring the most raid points and 68 points altogether.
Moreover, he played a memorable match-winning game, eventually scoring 12 raid points against Iran in the final. The Indian team initially was trailing behind and was on the verge of ending up in defeat.
In 2017, after Anup Kumar stepped down as the captain of the Indian National Team, Thakur took over the captaincy and led to victory in Asian Kabaddi Championship held soon afterward.
However, in an Asian Games (2018) held in Jakarta, they could only bag bronze.
Pro Kabaddi League Career
Thakur made a debut in Pro Kabaddi League Season 1 as a captain of Bengaluru Bulls.
Already quite an experienced player in 2014, he made a good start in the domestic league, scoring 127 points comprising 122 raid points and 5 tackle points, playing 15 matches altogether.
He captained the same team in season 2 but could not do well as in the first season scoring only 79 raid points in 13 matches.
As he could not play up to the expectation, he was sold off to Puneri Paltan for the third season of the PKL.
Unfortunately, Thakur’s performance degraded even lower than the previous season when he gave a forgettable performance. He only managed to score 52 raid points and 4 tackle points, making this his lowest score in any season of the PKL to date.
After a couple of seasons in Puneri Paltan with his career-worst games, he was transferred to Tamil Thalaivas as a captain for PKL season 5. He regained his form and improved a lot, giving his career-best performance scoring 213 raid points and 9 tackle points in only 22 matches.
He also continued his form in the next season, with the same club scoring 203 raid points and a tackle point in 22 matches. However, his team could not win the league titles as initially expected.
After having the worst time in season 7, where he managed to score just 58 raid points in 13 games, he was bought by another club, Dabang Delhi, for season 8 of the PKL in 2021-2022.
Even though he has proved himself, an able performer and captain with remarkable leadership qualities, none of the squads he has played for has won the league title.
Ajay Thakur | Wife and Children
No media covered his love life and relationships throughout his long career as a kabaddi player. Maybe because he does not prefer disclosing his personal life in public, people heard no rumors about his personal life.
However, now, we no longer have to wait for the gossip and rumors to emerge about this former Indian kabaddi captain. He married Sandeep Kaur Rana on April 10, 2019. She is a housewife, and his relationship with her is fine.
Kaur gave birth to a baby girl on April 27, 2021. They have even named her Anaya.
He shared his happiness with his fans and relatives after being a father through an Instagram post.
Ajay Thakur | Net worth, Salary and Career Earnings
One of the most famous raiders in the history of kabaddi, Ajay earns considerably well and has a net worth of around INR 10-15 crores.
Talking about his salary in the domestic league, it has varied over the years. When he began his career at Bengaluru bulls, he was paid about INR 12 lakhs. He was offered INR 15 lakhs for the second season.
After two fruitful seasons with Bengaluru Bulls, Puneri Paltan bought him for the third season, and he received INR 20 lakhs. However, as he was a bit out of form in the fourth season, he was paid INR 1 lakh lesser than the previous season.
After being sold off to Tamil Thalaivas for the PKL season 5, his salary was increased colossally, and was paid around 69 lakhs. Thakur performed so well this season that he was paid even more for the sixth season. He received around INR 76 lakhs for this season.
There is no reliable information regarding his salary for the seventh season in the PKL. However, besides making his earnings from league games, he earns some amount from the job as DSP.
Ajay lives comfortably with his family in his house in Himachal Pradesh during the offseason.
Ajay Thakur on Social Media
Like any other celebrity, Ajay Thakur constantly interacts with his fans through social media. He is a lively person both in and out of the kabaddi court, so he likes to remain in touch with his fans, friends, and relatives.
Ajay is active on Facebook and regularly posts his daily activities and events he attends. He has a verified personal account with around 30 k followers and a page with almost the same number of followers.
He has a Snapchat account as well.
Awards and Achievements
He has already achieved some enormous feats for the Indian National Team in various big tournaments throughout his long and exciting career spanning over a decade and a half.
As a consistent player for his nation since 2007, he has been a part of the glorious team that won the Asian Games, Incheon (2014), Asian Indoor Games (2007, 2013), Asian Championships (2017), and the most memorable 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.
Apart from trophies and medals in the sports event, he was awarded the fourth highest Indian civilian award, Padma Shri, in 2019.
In the same year, for his outstanding performance in sports and games and as someone who inspired young players, he became the recipient of the Arjuna Award, India’s second-highest sporting honor.
Above all, youngsters all over India who are interested in kabaddi look up to him as an inspiration, one day to become a great sportsman like him.
Although an athlete with a perfect image and who prefers to remain aloof from controversies and gossip, Thakur, however, has been caught off guard on one occasion.
The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) provisionally suspended Thakur in the March of 2021 along with four other renowned Indian sportspersons.
As per the newsletter issued by NADA, he was suspended as he failed to submit about his whereabouts in time, which violated its whereabouts rules according to the agency. The duration of suspension was of two years.
Ajay Thakur became the first-ever Indian athlete to be suspended for failing to clarify his whereabouts to the concerned authorities.
Some FAQs about Ajay Thakur
Did Ajay Thakur play in the PKL 2021?
Yes, Ajay Thakur played for Dabang Delhi in the PKL 2021. Dabang Delhi bought him for INR 40 lakhs from Tamil Thalaivas in an auction held from August 29 to August 31. Ajay has only had one successful raid in 4 matches, but his team leads the points table with 26 points.
What other activities does Ajay Thakur like besides playing kabaddi?
Ajay Thakur enjoys watching boxing and wrestling matches. He also likes working out and traveling in his spare time. He promotes football tournaments too in his home state Himachal Pradesh and likes to support any sports event organized there.
What happened to Ajay Thakur?
Ajay Thakur is currently posted as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) with Himachal Pradesh police. Apart from that, he plays in the domestic league for the PKL club, Dabang Delhi. But, unfortunately, Thakur has not been able to perform well in season 8.