Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday invited Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for the opening match of the upcoming Indian Super League, which will start in Kochi on November 17.
Sachin, accompanied by his wife, Anjali, Kerala Blasters CEO Varun Tripuraneni, Director N. Prasad, met Vijayan at his office at the secretariat here.
Kerala Blasters, co-owned by Tendulkar, will take on Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) in the inaugural match at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium at Kochi.
"We want the CM to be there and support Kerala Blasters. Last season indeed was an exciting one. The team played well. There were some tough times along the way. But that happens in sport. But the team stuck together and there was quality football," he told reporters after meeting Vijayan.
"It is not about winning matches. The brand of football we play, we need to win hearts as well which Kerala Blasters did so well last season. We expect the team to got out and do the same this year", Tendulkar said.
He said Blasters was also training about 1,800 children at the grassroots level, who aspire to play for Kerala Blasters some day.
A government press release said Sachin had also requested the chief minister to provide the services of the special battalion for Kochi matches as part of enhancing security during the matches.
The seats in the stadium have been decreased due to security concerns.
The release said Vijayan assured that he would consider the matter.
The chief minister also requested Tendulkar to talk to the Greater Cochin Development authority, which manages the stadium.
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