Weeks after he stepped down as union minister, Shashi Tharoor came out in the open on Tuesday, batting for the Kerala IPL team, even as owners Rendezvous Consortium made it clear that the team’s first match will be played in Kochi.
A beaming Tharoor, who resigned in the wake of allegations that he helped the consortium make the winning bid, was present at the team administration’s first meeting in the state. He said cricket remained his first love and his only concern was a team representing his home state.
However, the CPM-led Left Front government has cold-shouldered the team. They were denied a meeting with State Sports Minister M Vijaykumar, and CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said recently that a state like Kerala never needed an IPL team.
‘Let us put sports above politics and all controversies. I am the happiest person around,” Tharoor said after hectic consultations with the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) office-bearers. “It will definitely help spotting young talents and also strengthen the state’s economy,” he said.
KCA secretary T C Mathews said Kaloor Stadium in Kochi would be developed as a good pitch before the next IPL season and that the association will start league matches to spot budding cricketers.