They are no longer content with just catching a glimpse of him. It looked like everybody wanted a piece of Sachin Tendulkar, some even a picture with the cricket great with their mobile cameras, as he came to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.
Tendulkar, now the joint owner of the newly named Kerala Blasters football team – with the Hyderabad-based PVP Ventures – which will play in the IPL-style Indian Super League here later this year, was mobbed by surging crowds and nearly 60 media cameras at the Kochi stadium. In the end, the Master Blaster was left shaken.
With just about 15 cops around when he arrived at the stadium, security was poor. Utter chaos prevailed and it became so unmanageable at one point that Tendulkar had to take refuge in the curator’s room at the stadium. And according to sources, he refused to come out till things were brought under control.
“This is not the way it should have happened, we didn’t have policemen,” said a disappointed K.M.I. Mather, the president of the Kerala Football Association. “None of the programmes we had planned happened, we couldn’t talk anything with him.”
Tendulkar, who came along with the Kochi team’s co-owner and PVP Ventures’ Chairman Prasad Potluri, was supposed to meet with the KFA officials to complete the registration formalities of his new team. The two were also supposed to have meetings with Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany and GCDA Chairman N. Venugopal. But in the confusion that prevailed here, nothing materialised.
“We did not have any meeting with Tendulkar, in fact we did not have time for anything. He just came and saw the stadium and left,” said Chammany.
Meanwhile, the KFA General Secretary P. Anilkumar said the registration formalities can be completed in the next few days.
“We need not have Tendulkar for that. Somebody from the owner’s side will have to be here to confirm the team’s name and for the other formalities,” he said.
Tendulkar also had a look at the Nehru Stadium pavilion which has been named after him before leaving the city by an evening flight.