Rahul Dravid vouches for expansion of IPL teams
Indian legend Rahul Dravid believes the expansion of teams in the IPL will open the doors for budding cricketers in the nation. Dravid, who currently heads the National Cricket Academy (NCA), said this will give an extra rope to the youngsters. Notably, the former Indian batsman mentored a number of Under-19 players, who grabbed eyeballs in the IPL 2020. Here is more.
Speaking on a book launch, Dravid talked about expansion. "I think we're ready for an expansion. It's been fantastic to see so many of those young Under-19 boys come on and establish themselves, not only for their state teams but also in the IPL. But many more are actually not getting opportunities. There are so many good and experienced players," he said.
Recently, it was reported that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to add a ninth team. The motive behind the move is to reinstate financial balance after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the same.
Dravid further described this by quoting the example of Mumbai Indians, who recently won a fifth IPL title. "This is why Mumbai Indians have been so good," he added. "What they've done really well over the last four or five years is to maintain a strong core of really high quality players and mix that up with some really good young talents."
Several youngsters, who were groomed under the NCA head, Dravid, made waves in the recently concluded IPL season. The list comprises Rajasthan Royals batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal and pace spearhead Kartik Tyagi, Kings XI Punjab leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, and Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Priyam Garg. Notably, Garg led Team India's successful campaign at the Under-19 World Cup, earlier this year.
Dravid cited the success of Rahul Tewatia, who got the right platform to express himself. He became an overnight star, having helped Rajasthan Royals stun Kings XI Punjab in a league game. His 31-ball 53 helped Rajasthan register the highest-ever chase in the IPL history. Little did he know that he will be hailed across the nation in a span of few deliveries.
Dravid feels the IPL furnishes the young blood. "India have a very strong junior system, but it's not easy to give them these experiences just in a domestic competition. The IPL gives these talents the opportunity to express them on the world stage. The opportunity to bat with Virat Kohli and learn from de Villiers will help them grow," concluded Dravid.