Team Owner(s) Sachin Tendulkar and Nimmagadda Prasad
Prominent Players Ajay Thakur, Manjit Chillar
The Tamil Thalaivas is an Indian professional kabaddi team that participates in the Pro Kabaddi League. The franchise is based in the city of Chennai, Tamil Nadu and play their home games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which is also known as the home ground of the Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League. The indoor complex with a capacity of 8,000 serves as the area of play for kabaddi, while the turf is used for football.
Tamil Thalaivas are a rather new franchise having been introduced in the 2017 season of Pro Kabaddi, alongside Gujarat Fortune Giants, Haryana Steelers and UP Yoddha. The new teams were introduced in order to increase the popularity of the sport.
The team is led by the impressive Ajay Thakur, who also serves as the captain of the Indian National Kabaddi team, and are coached by Edachery Bhaskaran who also previously coached the U Mumba, leading them to the title in the second season of Pro Kabaddi League.
The team is jointly owned by Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar and eminent industrialist and entrepreneur Nimmagadda Prasad. The Thailavas motto is “Idhu Namma Aatam” which translates from Tamil into “This is our sport”, denoting the statewide love for the game and iterating their aim to connect every Tamilian with the sport of kabaddi.
Since the introduction the team to the Pro Kabaddi League, the Tamil Thalaivas have made huge strides towards the development of the game. They have chartered various initiatives such as grassroots programme to build deeper affinity for the sport across the state. The likes of Tamil Thalaivas Corporate Kabaddi Fest and the Children’s Kabaddi Challenge have been immensely popular.
Trajectory in the PKL
Having played just one season of Pro Kabaddi League, there is not much of a trajectory to map. The Thalaivas finished last in their Zonal Group table, as they looked to find their feet in the League.
However, both the players and the coach realise that no excuses can be made in the new season. The fans will be expecting no less than a qualification from the group tables and see their team battle it out against the best.
Yet to make any serious challenge in the league, but will be looking to change that in the near future.
There were plenty of negatives to be drawn out from the debut season of the Tamil Thalaivas. The team relied too heavily upon the performances of skipper Ajay Thakur and the rising star K. Prapanjan, as most of the players in squad were youngsters who barely had any prior experience. The lack of experience in the team was further aggravated by injuries to crucial players, especially the specialist corner defenders.
Major Players for the PKL 2018
No doubt a lot of responsibility will fall on the shoulders of captain Ajay Thakur, but this time the burden will be shared along with seasoned campaigners like Manjeet Chillar, Hegde and D. Gopu who will add much needed experience to the squad.
The duo of Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chillar will be looking to make rejuvenated performances following India’s dismal performance in the 2018 Asian Games at Jakarta-Pelambang.