Sunil Gavaskar has stated that the MCA (Mumbai Cricket Association) should try to schedule the T20 Mumbai League right before the Indian Premier League auctions. The professional league featuring 23 matches will start from May 14 and will be played until May 26 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The T20 Mumbai League was started last year and after a successful debut, will go into its second edition this year. The tournament starts from May 14 at Mumbai’s iconic Wankhede Stadium and will feature eight teams this year. Sunil Gavaskar, one of the ambassadors for the tournament, feels that it should take place right before the Indian Premier League auctions as it would present a good opportunity for youngsters to get selected in the cash-rich league.
“I do believe that the MCA must try and schedule this tournament just before the IPL auctions. I know that’s difficult to do because of the Ranji Trophy and the rest of the Indian domestic cricket season, but it’ll make a big difference if you schedule it before the auctions, because I don’t think the representation of Mumbai players in the IPL teams is adequate enough. I think we can have many more players up there. We all know that Mumbai has been the dominant team in domestic cricket over the years. Yes, we haven’t won the Ranji Trophy in the past few years but we have won it more than anybody else,” he said, reported Scroll.
Pace bowling all-rounder Shivam Dube was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs. 5 crores after his exploits in the Mumbai T20 League and Gavaskar singled out his case believing that more such talents will come out of the league.
“We’ve got the Tamil Nadu Premier League, the Karnataka Premier League and some other leagues as well, but I think the T20 Mumbai League is outstanding. Some of the players that came through are, in my view, India material. Shivam Dube got an IPL contract after that and I am certain that there’ll be more players coming through from this league and being wanted by IPL franchises for the next season,” expressed the former India captain.
Players like Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Siddhesh Lad and Shivam Dube will feature in the tournament this season, which will ensure a tough competition. Arjun Tendulkar has also come on board this year. Suryakumar led Triumph Knights Mumbai North East had won the previous edition but this time it won’t be easy this time as the number of teams will go up from six to eight. Sachin Tendulkar also among the ambassadors of the league, welcomed the move to add more teams.
“I feel the introduction of two more teams has opened doors of opportunities for a number of individuals. Not just the players, but also the support staff. The experience will leave everyone for the better. There are going to be a number of new faces and challenges this year,” he explained.
The Mumbai team has won the Ranji Trophy for a record 41 times but its last win came in the 2015/16 season. Nevertheless, Sachin was positive that the highly rated domestic team will bounce back.
“I know we talk about Mumbai not doing so well in the Ranji Trophy. I feel there is always room for improvement. We need to think differently and give a different dimension to the way we prepare. So it’s important not to have a short term vision but to have a long term plan. We need to figure out how to start dominating again. Having said that, I don’t think we’re down in the dumps at all. There have been occasions when we have made it to the semi-finals and finals,” signed off the 46-year-old.
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