Tendulkar stars as National Games get underway
Sachin Tendulkar was there to bring a capacity crowd on its feet and the cultural splendour was there for all to see as the 35th National Games were declared open here on Saturday with a colourful opening ceremony even as organisational chaos continued to take sheen off the event. The Greenfield Stadium on the outskirts of the city bathed in spectacular colours to welcome the athletes, quite a few of whom were, ironically, still not staying in the Games Village owing to the last-minute finishing touches. The chaos outside was, however, hardly noticed in the way the ceremony was conducted inside the stadium where the loudest round of applause and cheers went out for Games Goodwill Ambassador Tendulkar, who got up twice to acknowledge the adoring fans. Flanked by Kerala chief minister Oomen Chandy, sports minister S Sonowal and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, Tendulkar sported a wide grin all through as he applauded the marching athletes from 30 states, five Union Territories and one Board.