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Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri assured us that coming years will be very big for Indian cricket: Virender Sehwag | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: That the Indian Premier League has taken Indian cricket by storm would be an understatement. But two legends of Indian cricket had seen it coming before the cash-rich league was launched in 2008.
This was revealed by former Indian opener Virender Sehwag at a press conference organized by Star Sports on Thursday to celebrate 15 years of the IPL.
Recalling the first IPL auction, which happened back in 2008 when he was with the Indian team in Australia, Sehwag said, “A lot of time has passed since the inception of the IPL. My children have become adults and they’ve started playing cricket too. But I will never forget the first time we were briefed about this when we were in Australia. Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri approached us and said that there is going to be an Indian Premier League and they were asking for all our rights. So, we were wondering whether the league would be successful or not – what if after giving away our rights we do not gain anything from it. But they assured us that the coming years will be very big for cricket in India and whatever rights we grant to this league, we will be able to earn much more than that. Money was secondary at the time, but we didn’t know that the league would give rise to so many youngsters who would one day replace us and become stars.”
Sehwag also talked about how performance in the T20 franchise tournament has become a crucial parameter for foreign players.
“I think the competitiveness of IPL has increased to such a level, that all the players from different countries want to play IPL. The performance they give in IPL are counted and evaluated in their own countries. For example, David Warner performed so well in IPL and after that he got to play in the Australian international team and there also he performed well. In addition, the main advantage of the IPL is that we got young players from small cities, who have emerged and performed well by giving their best with the highest level of competitiveness,” Sehwag said.
“The IPL has benefited young talent the most. Earlier, nobody got noticed from Ranji Trophy performances and hence couldn’t make it to the Indian team. But now, if you perform well in the IPL and you showcase your talent, then immediately, you get an opportunity to play for the Indian team. Because of the IPL, so many children from smaller states of the country have started taking cricket seriously and try their best to participate in the IPL and strive hard for it. For example, my son is 15 years old and is already working hard to get a chance to play in the IPL,” Sehwag added.




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