Tendulkar: This is our chance to support football

Sachin Tendulkar felt that with the world’s best u-17 footballers coming for the FIFA event, the sport might get a fillip in the country. He exhorted Indian fans to support the national team by attending the games.

“Under-17 is an age when you are looking to be competitive, looking to push hard,” said the cricket icon, giving expression to his expectations from the October 2017 event to be played across six cities.   -  BUSINESS LINE

Sachin Tendulkar dwelt on the irreverence and exuberance of youth in sport, referring to the performances expected from under-17 footballers at the FIFA World Cup to be hosted by India.

“Under-17 is an age when you are looking to be competitive, looking to push hard,” said the cricket icon, giving expression to his expectations from the October 2017 event to be played across six cities.

“There is a tendency to cross the line sometimes (at that age), but it is okay since there are seniors to keep a check on players,” he added, referring to the over-enthusiasm by charged-up sporting performers in that age group.

Indian cricket’s living legend should know. “I started at 16, playing at the highest level.” Tendulkar felt that with the world’s best u-17 footballers coming for the FIFA event, the sport might get a fillip in the country. He exhorted Indian fans to support the national team by attending the games. “This is our chance to support football (by coming to stadiums) and Team India.”

He was answering queries about the utility of watching sport live, at a Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) event. The channel is producing and broadcasting the FIFA U-17 World Cup, where India is one of the participant teams.

SPN later announced Tendulkar as the channel’s Ambassador for Sports, besides the decision to club sports brands under an entity named Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN). SPN launched two new HD channels, Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 3, increasing the sporting channels to 11.

The inimitable Roger Federer shares a special bond with him, the Indian cricket icon with interests across sports revealed. “Roger follows cricket and when he plays the video game, he is Tendulkar. When I play tennis online, I am Federer and enjoy playing all the shots as long as there is no net in front. I thought the world knew about this.”

Asked about the cricket legacy, he said: “What we leave behind is most important,” revealing that millions of Indians from his generation were inspired by the 1983 Prudential World Cup win and watching Kapil Dev lift the trophy fired up ambition in him.

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