Sachin Tendulkar thinks that former India Cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would make a good defender for his Pro-Kabaddi team Tamil Thalaivas. The side, with Kamal Hassan as their brand ambassador, is among the four new additions in the fifth season of the tournament.
The Master Blaster was all fun and frolic at his newest owned franchise Tamil Thalaivas’ jersey launch on July 21. The side is co-owned by a consortium of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and businessman N Prasad. The other co-owners - Allu Arvind, Allu Arjun, and Ram Charan Teja- were also present in the launch.
When asked whom he would pick in his team from the non-kabaddi circle, the Indian cricketing legend thoughtfully answered, “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.”
The decision to upgrade the existing eight-team tournament to a 12-team affair ahead of the fifth season was taken back in March by the Pro-Kabaddi League when they had invited Expression of Interest for up to four new teams. The eight teams already associated back then were Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur, and Patna.
The opportunity was grabbed promptly and Thalaivas now make their debut alongside Team Gujarat, Haryana Steelers, and Team Uttar Pradesh. The additions would prolong the tournament to 13 weeks and 130 matches now.
44-year-old Tendulkar, who has always been an active figure in promoting various sports in the country, also revealed the reason he decided to invest in Kabaddi. He said, “I was there to witness the first match in Mumbai (in
Thalaivas take a big risk by assigning Ajay Thakur, who has never led a side before, as their captain. He understandably is not conversant in Tamil as well. However, the 31-year-old played down all such concerns stating that the seven local players in the team are getting a good grip on Hindi and Tamil.
Telugu Titans or Tamil Thalaivas? Who will win?
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