One does not usually associate long queues outside football stadiums to India. However, fans of the sport, which has been in the shadow of cricket for long, have been thronging the ticket counters of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi to become a part of history as India colts will become the first-ever representatives from the country at a FIFA World Cup tournament (any age category).
There is a lot of buzz surrounding the 17th edition of the U-17 World Cup, which will be hosted by India for the first time. The much-anticipated tournament has grabbed headlines and the craze for the tournament in football-mad states, West Bengal and Kerala, has hit the roof.
Amid all the hype, Indian cricket team, the darling of the Indian masses, is gearing up for a three-match T20I series against Australia, starting Saturday, October 7 in Ranchi. Notably, Virat Kohli's men decimated the world champions 4-1 in the recently-concluded ODI series.
Team India pacer Jasprit Bumrah reveals that the Indian cricketers are right now unable to share the new-found love of the public and that they are focussing on the upcoming T20I rubber.
"We are right now focusing on cricket and not focusing on football," Bumrah said as quoted by the Press Trust of India on Friday, October 6.
Tendulkar, Kohli wish Amarjit Singh's colts
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar came up with an inspiring message for Amarjit Singh Kiyam-led India colts. The batting legend also acknowledged the tremendous response the tournament has been garnering and urged the fellow citizens of the country to be "good hosts".
"From tomorrow, the U-17 World Cup will be played in India. It is a big moment for all of us. The kind of response the tournament has garnered, it is simply incredible. I am very happy about it," Tendulkar told in a video message on Twitter.
He added: "But here, India have a great opportunity to prove something on and off the field. Off the field we need to show that we are good hosts and how we have responded to such a big tournament and on the field how tough a opposition we are to play against."
"I am so sure that the boys are going to go there and give their best. Come on India. Dikha do. All the very best boys."
Team India skipper Kohli also wished the Indian U-17 football team the best. The Delhi batsman took to Twitter to share an emotional message. Check it out here.