MS Dhoni and Sreesanth during the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 Image: Twitter
MS Dhoni is popularly referred to as Thala by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans across India.
But Sreesanth doesn’t consider the Captain Cool as his Thala — which means leader in Tamil. The fast bowler, who was part of the Indian team that won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, says South Indian actor Ajith Kumar is his only Thala.
Kumar got the moniker back in 2001, much before Dhoni did while playing for CSK.
“I always believe there is only one Thala. Not just in Chennai, but all over the world, there is only one Thala. I’m a huge fan of that Thala. I saw a lot of posters that said Dhoni is our Thala and similar things. But come on, everyone knows that there is only one Thala and it is our favourite Ajith Annan ,” Sreesanth said at an event in Kerala.
Sreesanth is currently banned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for being part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal that rocked world cricket back in 2013.
Sreesanth, who was also part of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad, praised Dhoni and said, “Rest of them are at a bit lower level. We all respect Dhoni as the captain cool. I am honoured to have played under him.”