Tendulkar inaugurates T20 Mumbai League

Six teams will compete in the tournament that will be played at the Wankhede Stadium from March 11 to March 21.

Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar inaugurated the T20 Mumbai League, to be played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from March 11, on Thursday.   -  THE HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

 

Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar inaugurated the T20 Mumbai League — an intra-city cricket tournament organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association — here on Thursday.

Six teams will compete in the tournament that will be played at the Wankhede Stadium from March 11 to March 21.

Representing the city pockets, the teams are — Mumbai North, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai South-Central, and Mumbai South.

A week ago, Tendulkar was named brand ambassador for the event. “It's always a pleasure to be associated with the Mumbai Cricket Association. The T20 Mumbai League will not only entertain cricket fans, but also provide a great platform to the talented young cricketers in Mumbai," Tendulkar was quoted of saying in a media release.

Top city builders have bid for the teams.

Radius Developers, a construction company which has created a niche in the commercial hub of Bandra-Kurla Complex, has bought the most expensive franchise — Mumbai North — for Rs 6.5 crore.

“Mumbai, having 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 get to learn and that is something that I am looking forward to. I feel in today's day and age, youngsters can select any sport as their career and you can make a livelihood out of it,” said Tendulkar.

“When my parents encouraged me to play the sport, there were not many leagues. I would much rather say that these leagues, T20 and not just to talk about cricket here but generally various leagues that have started — football, kabaddi, badminton, table tennis — you name it and it's there today. So you can make a career out of playing sport. 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 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. I think today by playing these leagues, even if you don't go and play Ranji Trophy, you can still look after your family. And that is the most important thing for any individual. If you can look after your family, make them feel financially secure and be the backbone of your family, it is the greatest feeling anyone can get. That's why I feel this league is here to stay and it has opened up many doors for youngsters, not just cricketers but also coaching staff, support staff, be it physios, doctors, whoever. It's a package deal. A lot of things happen around that and that's why I am excited about it,” he added.