Sehwag: 'TNPL would be better off without outstation cricketers'

The Indian cricketing great was pleased that the State associations were organising competitions where young cricketers from distant areas could get a platform. "Previously, business houses used to conduct such tournaments. Now the State associations are doing it," he said.

Sehwag releases the jersey of the Madurai TNPL franchisee.   -  K. Pichumani

Virender Sehwag believed the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) would be better off without outstation cricketers.

Talking to presspersons here on Wednesday — he was in the city to inaugurate the logo, jersey and theme song of Madurai Super Giants in TNPL — the former Indian opener said, “If you have two outstation cricketers in the eleven then that will mean there will be two less spots for the local cricketers. The district cricketers will suffer.”

The Indian cricketing great was pleased that the State associations were organising competitions where young cricketers from distant areas could get a platform. “Previously, business houses used to conduct such tournaments. Now the State associations are doing it," he said.

Sehwag added, “If a youngster from district gets spotted in a tournament like TNPL, he can go on to represent the State under-19 and 23 sides, get picked for IPL and then go on to play for India.”

He said good cricketers could come through from Twenty20 cricket as well. “If you look at Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Bumrah, they made a big impression in IPL first. Cricketers such as Warner and Gayle are very good in all formats.”

Dwelling on franchise based tournaments, Sehwag said, “Good franchise owners should believe in sport. It is not just about business.”

Sehwag felt young cricketers should not lose heart after a bad performance. “Everyday is a new day,” he said.

On players opting to end their Test careers to play in the shorter formats, Sehwag said, “A cricketer must be allowed to make a choice. It’s his career.”

Cheteshwar Pujara’s loss of form was temporary, he said. Sehwag added India having three capable openers in M. Vijay, K. L. Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan was a good selection headache to have.

The triple century against Pakistan in the Multan Test of 2004 was the closest to his heart, Sehwag revealed.

What does Sehwag want the most these days? “A thousand retweets” was the answer.

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