The name is Kerala Blasters

The name is Kerala Blasters

The Kochi-based Indian Super League (ISL) football team, co-owned by cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, has been named Kerala Blasters.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy formally announced the name of the team on Tuesday after a meeting with Tendulkar at the State Secretariat here.

The owners of the team will also provide football training to 1.25 lakh students across the state.

“The team will be called Kerala Blasters Football Club. People call me master blaster… so I thought of the name because the entire Kerala would be with the Kochi team,” Tendulkar said.

The cricket legend said the franchise was part of efforts to “change the face” of Indian football. Speaking on his interest in the sport, Tendulkar said members of the Indian cricket team played “a lot” of football.

“Sometimes it used to get so competitive that we had to stop these games because we didn’t want injuries,” he said.

Tendulkar also accepted an invitation from Chandy to be the goodwill ambassador of the 35th National Games to be hosted by Kerala in early 2015.

Tendulkar arrived to a rousing reception here, with cheering fans thronging the airport.

Large crowds gathered around the secretariat to have a glimpse of the superstar. Ahead of his meeting with the CM, ministers, MLAs and staff also met Tendulkar.

“Since the time I landed here, the love and affection that I received has been overwhelming. I’m speechless,” he said.

Tendulkar also visited Le­ad­er of the Opposition V S Achu­thanandan. Later in the afternoon, he visited the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi.

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