Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan has his hands full these days with his new pet project – the Jaipur franchise of Pro Kabaddi, which is a professional Kabaddi League.
The actor has named his team the Jaipur Pink Panthers. We wondered if he had borrowed the name from his wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Hollywood movie titled ‘The Pink Panther 2’ with actor Steve Martin. However, the actor said “Jaipur is the pink city and these guys are panthers.”
At the unveiling of the official playing jersey for the team, Abhishek Bachchan spoke about how he decided to support this long forgotten sport of India. “It saddened me when I realised we don’t speak about our heritage sport as much as we do about others,” said Abhishek.
The actor introduced his team players and unveiled the jersey which is a bright pink colour with blue sleeves.
“We’ve all been training in Jaipur for the past two weeks. I was very keen to introduce the boys in Mumbai,” he said. “Origins of Kabaddi goes back to the Mahabharata. It is India’s indigenous sport and I don’t see why there should be any difference in stature in a couple of years between our legends of cricket and legends of Kabaddi.”
Coach Bhaskaran from Tamil Nadu has been training the Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Junior Bachchan was full of praise for his coach. “He’s a former player. He’s fearless on the field and also an Arjuna awardee.” The actor also introduced the captain of the team Navneet. “He’s a part of the senior national squad. A hero and a huge champion of Kabaddi.”
The players introduced themselves to the Media as well. The Jaipur Pink Panthers also have two international players – Dev from Taiwan and Sanjay from Nepal.
Like a proud parent Abhishek praised his team to the skies. “They’re so energised and fantastic. The best thing is that they’re such simple souls.”
Abhishek is not the only Bachchan excited about his new venture. The actor revealed that his father Amitabh Bachchan is dying to meet the boys. “He wanted to be here today but he has to shoot for his television series. But, he will surely make it for the match tomorrow.”
On being asked which sports icon he would like to portray in a biopic, Abhishek said he is huge fan of Yuvraj Singh.