PKL: Tendulkar unveils Tamil Thalaivas' jersey

New kits were presented to the coach K. Baskaran, captain Ajay Thakur and the rest of the team.

Sachin Tendulkar (second from left), co-owner of Tamil Thalaivas, and actor Kamal Haasan (third from right), brand ambassador of the side, during the team's jersey launch in Chennai.   -  K. Pichumani

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar unveiled the jersey of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) team Tamil Thalaivas, amidst much fanfare here on Thursday.

He was joined by co-owners Nimmagadda Prasad, Allu Aravind, Allu Arjun and Ramcharan Teja on the stage, alongside team ambassador Kamal Haasan.

Tendulkar, who also owns Kerala Blasters in the ISL and Bengaluru Blasters in the BPL, spoke on the reason behind his investment in PKL and why he has championed various sports since retirement.

"By the year 2020, India will become one of the youngest average population in the world. At the same time, India is ranked third in the world for obesity. So, it is important to be involved with some sport.

"The youngest average population and an unhealthy population is a recipe of disaster," said the former India batsman.

Thalaivas is among the newest franchises added to the kabaddi league which has expanded from eight teams to 12 for the forthcoming season. New kits were presented to the coach K. Baskaran, captain Ajay Thakur and the rest of the team.

Prasad added that the franchise has roped in Baskaran to work through the year and not just the ensuing three months of the league. "When we made the call, Baskaran said he wanted to work on the grassroots of kabaddi, which reflects well with Sachin's philosophy," he said.

The Hyderabad-based entrepreneur added that Ajay Thakur was appointed captain as Baskaran felt the experienced raider was a good guide for the young Thalaivas side. Both Baskaran and Thakur combined to deliver World Cup success for India in January 2016.

On a lighter note, Tendulkar said that former teammate M. S. Dhoni would make a good defender in a fantasy kabaddi side, referring to his 'fighting spirit' over the years.

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