Sachin Tendulkar

Thiruvananthapuram, May 28: Indian Cricket Legend and official brand ambassador of the 35th national games, Sachin Tendulkar, has called for an increased active representation of football players from Kerala. At a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, told reporters that the government wants Sachin as the brand ambassador.

“On behalf of the government, I would request him (Tendulkar) to give a consent to stand as the brand ambassador, goodwill ambassador of the National Games. The reaction is very positive, I think he will announce in this brief meeting,” said Chandy. The 35th edition of National Games will be held in Kerala between the last week of January 2015 and first week of February 2015.

This will be the second time the event will take place in Kerala. The first time, it was in 1987, when the 27th edition of National Games was held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Alappuzha, Kochi, Thrissur and Kollam. Launched in 1924, the Games are a branch of the Indian Olympic Games movement to promote Olympic sports in the country.

The periodicity of the National Games is generally every two years but will not be held if the date coincides with the Asian Games or the Olympics. Accepting the Kerala government’s request to be the goodwill ambassador of this edition, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar said that he loved playing the sport as much as he did cricket.

Pointing that at the national level there was poor representation of the state, once called the home of football, Tendulkar asked the players for more active participation. “In the eighties, I remember the Indian team having a lot of football players from Kerala. Kerala being- along with Kolkata- a home of football, I think something that we would want to change is the face of Indian football because today, there is nobody from Kerala representing our nation,” Tendulkar said.

Chandy and Tendulkar also announced the name of Kochi’s football team- Kerala Blasters Football Club. The club will represent Kerala in the National Games.