Batting genius Sachin Tendulkar lent a halo to the official launch of the Belagavi Panthers squad here on Saturday night.
The Karnataka Premier League (KPL) team representing the Belgaum Zone and owned by Sangeetha Mobiles and Subhas Enterprises, also strutted on the podium after Tendulkar unveiled the team logo featuring pouncing panthers besides displaying the team colours that had a dash of red and blue.
“The Karnataka Premier League by the KSCA presents an opportunity for young cricketers to get exposure and attention. Yes, the Twenty20 format may not be ideal to judge a cricketer but at the same time this tournament does give a platform to all aspiring cricketers to express themselves. I wish the organisers as well as the Belagavi Panthers the very best,” Tendulkar said.
Later, CEO Joseph Hoover said that the promoters — L. Subash Chandra, Managing Director, Sangeetha Mobiles and A.R. Nagesh, Managing Director, Subhas Enterprises — were keen to develop cricket infrastructure in Belgaum and surrounding areas and that the team is primed to deliver. Key players, notably Manish Pandey and Vinay Kumar, drew some attention at the function, while actress Tejeswini was named as the team’s ‘first fan.’
Meanwhile, captain-cum-coach J. Arun Kumar was absent as he had to report to Mohali for the Sahara BCCI Corporate Trophy tournament commencing on September 1. Arun is part of the Air India Blue team.
The KPL will be held from September 9 to 23.