Sachin Tendulkar disassociates himself with ISL franchise Kerala Blasters
Sachin Tendulkar has been part of the franchise since the beginning in 2014. (Getty Images)

When the fifth season of the Indian Super League starts, Sachin Tendulkar will no longer be part of Kerala Blasters. The former India cricketer, who was one of the co-owners of the franchise, has sold his stakes 13 days prior to the start of the tournament.

Tendulkar was one of the owners, along with industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, producer Allu Arjun, actors Nagarjuna and Chiranjeevi and has been associated with the franchise since the very beginning in 2014. The official statement was made on Sunday with Tendulkar saying that his “heart will always beat” for the franchise.

“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,” Tendulkar said in a statement.

“I strongly believe that Kerala Blasters is in very good shape and on its path to attain many more successes with the backing of its fans offering unconditional support. I am very proud of Kerala Blasters and a piece of my heart will always beat for the club.

“My association with Kerala Blasters was driven with the intent to reignite the passion for the game and give the many fans and the abundant talent in Kerala, a national platform to express themselves. It has been a thrilling experience to chase this pursuit and something which I will always cherish.”

Blasters have finished runner-up in ISL twice – in 2014 and 2016 and their leading scorer is Canada’s Iain Hume with 10 goals. Sandesh Jhingan has played the most number of matches for the club representing the team 59 times as per March. The fifth edition of the ISL begins on September 29.