‘Tamil Thalaivas’ a new Kabaddi team, who will make their debut at the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League in the Season 5, made noises in the last few weeks. On Thursday, the team’s jersey launch and saw their brand icon Kamal Hassan, co-owners Sachin Tendulkar, Allu Arjun, Ram Charan Teja, Allu Arvind and Nimmagadda Prasad were present on the eve.
Talking about the atmosphere surrounding the league, Sachin said “I was there to witness the first match in Mumbai (in PKL) three years ago. The kind of energy and the vibration inside the stadium was spectacular. I have always admired sportsmen and when I went there, the speed and the agility of the players were just incredible.”
When asked about a dream Kabaddi team with non-kabaddi players, he said “If I have to get a defender – it will have to be MS Dhoni. He doesn’t miss much and would be great in that position. A raider is someone who has to hold his breath. When it comes to holding your breath, I don’t think anyone can match (singer) Shankar Mahadevan.”
Team captain Ajay Thakur said about the chance to interact with the local teams to play with them in places such as Madurai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, and Tuticorin.
The 31-year-old professional Indian international Kabaddi player and new team ‘Tamil Thalaivas’ said to TOI that “When we toured the districts, I was witness to the love people showered on us. In most places that we visited, people would come in good numbers and make us feel so special. The sport has its origins in Tamil Nadu and it is no surprise that people here adore kabaddi players so much.”
Ajay said Tamil Thalaivas have come up with their signature style to celebrate a point. “We have our way of expressing a winning point and have even called it the ‘Jallikattu kick.”
Ajay said that he will keen to give a good account of himself. “To be captaining this side is a huge responsibility. I am entrusted with the role of taking the team along with me and I just hope to deliver.”
Talking about the presence of 7 local players in the side, he said: “They have begun to get a grip on Hindi, and even we are picking up a few words of Tamil as well.”