MUMBAI: Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday said Mumbai has always been at the forefront when it comes to cricket in India and feels that the upcoming T20 League was much needed as it would serve as a good platform for youngsters of the state to showcase their talent.
“I firmly believe that something like this ( Mumbai T20 League) was needed for Mumbai cricket. Mumbai cricket has always led Indian cricket and the numbers are biggest proof. I feel happy to be part of this league,” Tendulkar, who is the League Ambassador said at an event here.
“Mumbai have won Ranji Trophy for 41 years, you’ve got terrific history. I still remember as a kid at Shivaji Park” Kamath Memorial club “Paddy sir (Padmakar Shivalkar) would come and bowl to me. He was possibly thrice my age at that time but he would bowl to me. Such things happen in Mumbai.
“It would be nice if youngsters are playing alongside some big names in Mumbai cricket. They will get to learn and that is something that I am looking forward to,” added Tendulkar.
Apart from Tendulkar, Mumbai had produced plethora of international cricketers like Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar, Chandrakant Pandit, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Pravin Amre, Vinod Kambli to Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and pacer Shardul Thakur.
The legendary batsman also said if one flourishes at leagues like this, then it can take them to greater heights. “When we talk about league cricket, my cricket started at Shivaji Park and then slowly graduated to good gymkhanas on the Marine Drive, and then you go bit further, there are big stadiums also, so it gradually progressed,” he said.
“So for any youngster in Mumbai, you need not be playing (with) the season ball. As a kid, I started playing cricket with tennis ball and we found our own ways of playing in the limited time, but from there every aspiring kid needs to have a platform to express his talent. This league is going to provide that opportunity,” he added.
The T20 Mumbai League will be conducted by Probability Sports Private Limited, a consortium of Probability Sports and Wizcraft, with the sanction and approval of the Mumbai Cricket Association from March 11 to 21 at the iconic Wankhede stadium.
Tendulkar also recalled the fact that there were many cricketers from Mumbai who could not make it to the national level as there were no spot available.
“I remember there are so many names in Mumbai cricket who should have played for India but at that given moment, there wasn’t a spot available for them. But they were really-really good and would have gone on to play for India. Similarly, so many club cricketers would have gone on to play Ranji but they couldn’t do that,” he said.