India's cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who on Sunday became a joint owner of a new football team from Kochi, feels that the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) will be a great platform for young Indian footballers.
Tendulkar, a motorsports fan, and PVP Ventures, which owns Indian Badminton League (IBL) inaugural champions Hyderabad Hotshots, together clinched the Kochi franchise for the two-month ISL that will be played from September in eight cities.
"I will always remain a sportsman at heart who is keen to positively impact the sporting fabric of the nation. The Indian Super League presents a great opportunity to develop a platform for the youngsters to learn and enhance their talent to develop into outstanding players," Tendulkar said.
"It has been an interesting experience interacting with the young, passionate team at PVP Ventures led by Prasad Potluri. Based on the various insights shared by the team, the opportunity of the Kochi club seemed like a compelling and challenging proposition. With the Kochi club, we will strive to 'score our goals' and play a part in developing the game of football across the country," Tendulkar added.
Potluri, chairman and managing director of PVP Ventures Limited, said their priority would be to develop the Kochi club.
"We look forward to developing the Kochi club in the Indian Super League and are proud to partner with one of India's greatest sportsmen, Sachin Tendulkar, in our efforts… The following and enthusiasm of football in the southern part of the country presents a fertile opportunity for us to execute our plans and leverage global expertise for the development of a world class club," he said.
The ISL is being promoted by IMG-Reliance, who are the commercial partners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The remaining seven franchises are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Guwahati, Pune and Goa.