'I had no idea,' says Ajay Thakur about Arjuna nomination

The Tamil Thalaivas skipper had a forgettable outing against his former team, Bengaluru Bulls. However, the Arjuna award nomination is sure to make up for the heartbreak, news the press had to give him first.

The Tamil Thalaivas and Indian Kabaddi team skipper Ajay Thakur also received the Padma Shri earlier this year.   -  Special arrangement

The home leg for Tamil Thalaivas skipper Ajay Thakur might not have started as he would have wanted it to at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, after his side went down to defending champion Bengaluru Bulls 32-21, but such has been the trend in this year’s Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), with the home team emerging victorious only thrice until now.

However, Saturday has not been a bad day after all for the 33-year-old Indian kabaddi captain, having made the final recommendations in a massive 19-member list for Arjuna awards earlier in the evening.

Kabaddi special: Kings of Kabaddi: Episode 01 - Meet Ajay Thakur


Completely oblivious to the news, Thakur was visibly stunned when the news was broken to him, by the journalists at the post-match press conference no less.

“Really? I had absolutely no idea at all,” was all he could manage to lip in the beginning.

Even Thalaivas coach E. Bhaskaran was not in the know. He joked, “ Maybe if he would have known it before the match, it would have helped.”

Still a little taken aback by the news, Thakur said, “I was checking my phone since morning and continued till around 4 pm to know whether the names were announced but there was nothing regarding it. You are the ones to let me know about it."

"Awards like these... Awards like the Arjuna push us sportspersons further because from the very beginning every athlete has the dream to win it," he continued.

“I have been playing for India since the last 15 years and kept yearning for it, thinking that one day I would be able to bag it. I still cannot believe my ears. I will go check right now. Some news this is!”