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  Sports   Cricket  12 Mar 2018  T20 League can be career option: Tendulkar

T20 League can be career option: Tendulkar

THE ASIAN AGE. | IRFAN HAJI
Published : Mar 12, 2018, 12:19 am IST
Updated : Mar 12, 2018, 12:19 am IST

The Master Blaster who scored 34,357 International runs for India across all formats advised youngsters to make most of the opportunity.

Sachin Tendulkar
 Sachin Tendulkar

Legendary former Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar felt the inaugural T20 Mumbai League is a great platform for young cricketers to express themselves. Tendulkar, who is the brand ambassador of the League, was happy the tournament will provide employment to many cricketers and support staff.

“There are always number of club cricketers who are good enough to play for Mumbai and Ranji cricketers whom I played alongside and were fit enough to play for India but unfortunately could not play. To me this tournament is the ideal platform for such cricketers to express themselves. All sportsmen look for recognition and appreciation and this league will provide them the opportunity. This league is really important for Mumbai cricket,”  said Tendulkar at the opening ceremony of the inaugural T20 Mumbai League on Saturday night.

 

“This league will also provide employment to support staff. If every franchise has a 25-member squad so we are talking about 150 total players in six teams. This is the  League were we can have a career while playing sport. Earlier there were less opportunities, now there are so many leagues, parents are comfortable that if you don’t get to play for India or Mumbai, there is the T20 league to continue your passion for cricket, which is important,” he said.

He heaped praise on World Cup winning India U-19 skipper Prithvi Shaw for making great progress but cautioned him to not rest on laurels.

“International cricketers participating in the League is good for youngsters. I saw Prithvi Shaw play in New Zealand (in the U-19 World Cup). How he has progressed is remarkable. His journey has just begin so don’t rest on the laurels put your foot on the accelerator and press it as hard as possible. Youngsters benefit from senior cricketers who are willing to share their knowledge,” he observed.

 

Shaw, who will play under Ajinkya Rahane for North Mumbai Panthers was present in the audience and he is set to represent Rest of India in the Irani Cup match in Nagpur from March 14 after representing India A in the Deodhar Trophy. Besides Rahane the league has international cricketers in Rohit Sharma (briefly), Shreyas Iyer and former India all-rounder Abhishek Nayar.

The league’s commissioner, Sunil Gavaskar, and mentor, Dilip Vengsarkar, were present at the event, along with former Test players Sandeep Patil and Vinod Kambli, mentors of two of the teams. Zaheer Khan, who is also mentor of one of the teams, was not though present at the event.  

 

The Master Blaster who scored 34,357 International runs for India across all formats advised youngsters to make most of the opportunity.

“Learn from mentors whom I played against or under and chase your dreams and enjoy the League which is getting lot of support already. Let’s all come together to make it success for the betterment of Mumbai cricket,” he added.  

Play the game hard but fair: Gavaskar
Gavaskar said that there would be zero tolerance towards anything that would bring the game into disrepute.

“Its integrity should be maintained at all times,” Gavaskar said at the league’s opening ceremony.

“Play the game hard but fair. There should be no animosity between players and there should be respect for the opposition and umpires. You play to win but not at all costs,” said the legendary opener.

 

Tendulkar also cautioned the youth from resorting to bad behaviour on the field. “My message to youngsters is be competitive, play hard but play it fair. The appreciation and recognition you are getting is because of the game; it has brought you here, so don't disrespect the game.”

Bollywood magic
With the tagline ‘Aamhi Mumbaikar, Aaamhi Cricketkar’, the opening ceremony on Saturday night in a city hotel showcased a vibrant Maharashtrian flavour with cultural acts that celebrated and highlighted the history and spirit of Mumbai and the Marathas.

The players were treated to local music and dance performances backed by Bollywood numbers by superstars Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Kirti Sanon and Sidharth Malhotra. Actress Sonali Bendre hosted the event alongside Shreyas Talpade.

 

Gracing the event were cricketing legends such as Tendulkar and Gavaskar, Vengsarkar along with Mumbai Cricket Association president, advocate Ashish Shelar.

Also present were Kadar Makani, chief executive officer, Probability Sports; and Karan Bhagat, founder, IIFL Investment Managers.

Tags: sachin tendulkar, ajinkya rahane, sunil gavaskar