Sachin Tendulkar is a very humble man: Kerala Blasters' defender Jamie McAllister
Jamie McAllister, the Scottish defender who was played for Kerala Blasters FC in the inaugural Indian Super League in 2014, spoke about Sachin Tendulkar and Indian crowds on his return to the United Kingdom. The Indian cricket legend was the co-owner of the Kerala-based franchise and was a very active team owner during the two-and-a-half month league across the country.
McAllister is currently playing for League Two side Exeter City who average around 6,000 fans a game – a far cry from the 60,000 fans that packed the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium in Kochi, the home of the Kerala Blasters.
Sachin is a very humble man: McAllister
The 36-year-old player-coach said of Sachin: “He's got a big passion for football and he wants to try and drive football on and try and make it as big as cricket, if it can be, in India.
“Sachin's a very humble man, he's a nice man,” he added.
McAllister also spoke about how involved Tendulkar was at team meetings and other activities.
“We met him a few times, he had lunch with us a few times and he did a motivational speech in one of our meetings.
“He was very hands on with us. It was great just to be around him.”
The Scot admitted he didn’t follow cricket much, but understood why Tendulkar was such a big hero in India.
“I'm not a big cricket fan but the Indian lads worshipped him. He was so humble and easy to talk to.”
Indian fans were incredible: McAllister
The defender also spoke about the fans and the atmosphere at the stadiums. With an average attendance that rivalled major leagues in Europe, the ISL was a huge success in India.
"In the semi-final we had 60,000 in the stadium and 20,000 outside watching it on a big screen," McAllister said.
"The noise outside with drummers, DJs and fireworks before the game was superb.
"When you left the hotel you had to have security with you, as when you went to some of the big malls you were mobbed by fans wanting autographs. It was just incredible,"