Cricket’s ‘master blaster' Sachin Tendulkar will no longer be officially associated with Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League (ISL) whose fifth season starts on September 29.
His stake has reportedly been bought by the Lulu Group which should trigger off Kerala fans as Sachin has been replaced by a group associated with the State. It is interesting to watch a change in ownership just weeks ahead of the start of the Indian Super League (ISL) season five.
Sachin has been associated with Kerala Blasters since its inception in 2014 when the ISL season started. Sachin, in a statement, expressed his affection for the ‘men in yellow’ (manjappada in local parlance) and said that even though he was not officially part of Kerala Blasters, his support for the team would be there always. Expressing his everlasting passion towards the team, Sachin said: “My heart will further beat for Kerala Blasters”.
He said his association with the team was to “reignite the passion for the game and give the many fans and the abundant talent in Kerala a national platform to express them”. He added that it was thrilling experience.
“In its fifth year, it is important that the club puts the building blocks for the next five years and beyond. It is also a time for me to reflect on the role that I should play. After reflecting and much discussion with my team, I have decided to exit my association with Kerala Blasters as a co-promoter,” Sachin's statement said.
Hyderabad-based media and entertainment house Prasad Group holds 80 per cent share in the franchise, and the rest was held by Sachin. However, there has been no official confirmation from the Lulu Group about its taking over Sachin's stake.
Lulu Group International, owned by Kerala businessman Yusuff Ali MA, calculates the ownership will help boost its business and brand image in Kerala. The Lulu group owns the Lulu International Shopping Mall in Kochi which is the largest shopping mall in India in terms of total area. The group thinks the ownership will help to promote the Kochi Lulu Mall in a better way and the proximity of the Lulu Mall to the nearby Jawaharlal International Stadium, venue of the ISL matches, will also help in this regard. The UAE based company is a retail giant with a strong presence in the traditional supply chain from manufacture to import and export.