Chennai, Aug 19: India wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Kartik showed his love and support for Kabaddi by attending the opening day of the Chennai-leg of Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai.
Karthik - the local boy - was at the stadium for the opening match of the Chennai Leg and cheered the home team Tamil Thalaivas as they took on the Bengaluru Bulls in the Southern Derby on Saturday (August 17).
When the cricketer was asked about his favourite team and kabaddi player in the league Karthik named Tamil Thalaivas and Ajay Thakur.
The Tamil Nadu cricketer said, "My favourite team from Pro Kabaddi League no doubt is Tamil Thalaivas, and the national captain Ajay Thakur is my favourite player.
When asked who would be the potential player from the Indian Cricket Team who could play Kabaddi, Kartik said, "One person from the Indian Cricket team who I can see play this sport is Rishabh Pant."
When asked whether a league like PKL helps promote the sport in the country, Karthik said, "From the inception of IPL, I have realised the influx of people coming from other counties and playing a sport always adds a different dimension to it. It's the same with Kabaddi as well, we have been world champions, and that has taken kabaddi to another level. The whole of India is watching it. The best of the best take part in this sport, and there's no better way to grow the sport than this."
Tamil Thalaivas, however, didn't have a memorable start in their home leg as they were defeated by defending champions Bengaluru Bulls by a scoreline of 32-21 in the Southern Derby.
However, the Ajay Thakur-led side produced a better show in their second home game as they played an entertaining draw with a resurgent Puneri Paltan. At the end of the 40 minutes the scoreline read 31-31.
Youngsters Ajeet and Manjeet were the stars for Thalaivas. Rahul Chaudhari, Ajay Thakur and Mohit Chhillar are all Kabaddi royalty for a reason, and it was hardly a surprise when Tamil Thaliavas made a dominant start to the match on their home mat.