Sachin’s exit leaves Manjappada shell-shocked

Adieu: Sachin Tendulkar announced on Sunday his intentions to part ways with Kerala Blasters.

Adieu: Sachin Tendulkar announced on Sunday his intentions to part ways with Kerala Blasters.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Blasters, underperforming of late, was looking up to him for inspiration

Kerala Blasters, the lone football club from the State in the Indian Super League (ISL), has been forced to take fresh guard with its iconic promoter, Sachin Tendulkar, announcing on Sunday his intentions to part ways with the club.

It could very well have been an emotional and painful decision for the Master Blaster to take, as his statement points out in detail the exhilarating journey that he has had with the outfit which in more ways than one has been able to rekindle the passion for the game in the State.

True, the club has failed to live up to the fans’ expectations for the past two years, having finished runner-up in the inaugural season. Still, the presence of Tendulkar in the games of Kerala Blasters could send a group of over 55,000 supporters of the club, now better known as Manjappada (Yellow Army), into a state of delirium.

The Manjappada, over the years, have turned into one of the strong fan bases of the league itself, winning kudos at the national level, even picking up the award for the best fan club in last year’s sports awards organised by the Virat Kohli Foundation.


Naturally, on Sunday, the fans of the club remained despondent unable to come to terms with the decision taken by their idol.

“Given his inspiring role, we were expecting the club to perform well in the new season. He has given us hope of Kerala football scaling heights, after the slump it had gone through after clubs such as FC Kochin and Viva Kerala folded up. Yet, we will remain faithful knowing well that Tendulkar will be closely following the fortunes of Blasters though without being part of it.”

Vijayan’s take

Former international and Arjuna Award winner I.M. Vijayan too was disappointed about the sudden turn of events.

“Oh! It is a terrible piece of news, Tendulkar leaving Kerala Blasters. It is a sad day for Kerala football as he was through the last three-four years committed to turn Kerala football around. I feel numb,” he said.

His Kerala connect

Tendulkar, who had his first five-wicket haul in One-Day Internationals in Kochi (against Australia in 1998), has always had a special feeling for Kerala since then, agreeing to even being the Brand Ambassador of the 35th National Games which the State hosted three years ago.

Now that he has called it quits, we have to see how the club performs in the coming season. Without doubt, it will miss its inspiring promoter.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:15:10 AM |

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