Fazel Atrachali has an infectious smile as he greets us at the lobby of a plush hotel in the city. He’s just finished breakfast and looks well-rested, with his hair gelled up and styled carefully. But ask him what his plans are for the day and he replies instantly, “I want to sleep!” in his thick Persian accent. Fazel loves his sleep, we’re told. When he’s not sleeping, he’s busy being the phenom he is — the best foreign kabaddi player that Pro Kabaddi League has seen since its inception.

From winning two back-to-back titles to becoming the league’s most expensive foreign player when he was signed for ₹1 crore last year, Fazel has perhaps seen it all. But the money and fortune weren’t always around. “When I came here in season two, I was signed for very little money but I did not care,” he says. And there was a much bigger concern for him — the Iranian…

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