CHENNAI: With the Pro Kabaddi League bandwagon finally coming to Chennai, there is understandable excitement amongst both players and fans for the fifth season, which will run from July to October. Not only is it a chance for crowds to witness what the league is all about, but it also gives a platform to young players from the state — having until now enjoyed mixed success in the league — to show what they’re capable of.
And to back that sentiment, the yet to be named team based out of Chennai has picked 15 players from Tamil Nadu in it’s 25-man roster. And two of these players, T Prabhakaran and M Thivakaran, cannot wait for the event to start.
“I had attended trials previously with other teams, but wasn’t able to break through. And now, such have been developments that we have a team based out of Chennai, and to be selected by the franchise is a proud moment for me. I have played in many national-level events for TN, but this will be a whole different ballgame, but I’m ready for the challenge,” said Prabhakaran, who was picked for `12 lakh.
Thivakaran meanwhile, cannot wait to play in front of his family and friends. “Until the beginning of this year, if you had told me that Chennai would have a team, I would have scoffed. But now, with the Chennai team coming into the picture, we have the chance to play in front of our own people.
My family and friends can also see me play live, and it’ll be a good way to show people what the sport is all about. There is also the fact that we’ll be playing on live TV for the first time, and that is exciting!” the man who was sold for `12.4 lakh opined.
It helps that there is a sense of familiarity among players from the state. “The fact that there are so many players from TN will help us settle faster. I know Prabhakaran well from out time with the Tamil Nadu team, and we’ve also represented the Services team on many occasions. So that’s also something to look forward to,” Thivakaran said.
With the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium getting confirmed as home ground for the franchise, it is left to be seen what team name they come up with, and if crowds turn up in droves.