Mumbai: Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday called upon his countrymen to come out in huge numbers during the FIFA U-17 World Cup, saying this was the country’s greatest opportunity to show its support towards other sports.
Tendulkar was speaking on the sidelines of a Sony Pictures Network event in Mumbai, of which he was named the Ambassador for Sports on Tuesday.
In a conversation with veteran cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, the former Indian captain, who represented his country in 200 Tests and 463 ODIs over a period of 24 years, said, “For any sportsmen, the best thing to happen to them is (to see) how the spectators are responding.
“This is India’s greatest opportunity to show our support towards other sports, which we have been showing. This is only about taking it to the next level.
“And I am sure the spectators won’t disappoint us. Indians, let’s not disappoint each other. (Let's) go out and support those youngsters (India's U-17 football team), and above all, India.”
Tendulkar, a well-known enthusiast of non-cricket sports has been frequently visible around the sporting circuit, watching tennis, formula one and even rugby, and is excited about the upcoming U-17 World Cup, which will be played in India from 6-28 October.
Tendulkar said, “World Cup in any format is always competition at the highest level, where the players don’t want to compromise on anything. They don’t want to give an inch to each other. I am looking forward to this tournament.”
When asked by Bhogle about what it must like to be on a stage as big as the World Cup when one is not even 17, Tendulkar went back to his early days, when he began his cricketing journey at the age of 16.
He jokingly added, “I started when I was 16, so in U-17 you will have some world class players playing.”
Speaking further on the FIFA U-17 World Cup, a first event of its kind being held in India, Tendulkar added that 17 is not that young an age as it is generally considered.
"Seventeen in today’s world is not young. Seventeen is just about when you are looking to be competitive, and I know for sure that at 17 you really push hard and sometimes cross the line, but there are guys to advise them to stay within the limitations and go out and deliver.”
The first match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup will be played between Group A teams Colombia and Ghana.
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Updated Date: Jul 18, 2017 22:54:00 IST