Rahul Dravid, the former Indian skipper, strongly believes that Indian Premier League (IPL) is “ready for expansion” in terms of several teams without compromising on the quality as well as quantity of talent available in the country.
Talks are doing the rounds that the 2021 IPL will feature nine teams instead of eight and will go up to 10 teams by 2023, which has always been the BCCI’s long-term plan.
Rahul Dravid: IPL Ready For Expansion In Terms Of Talent And Manoj Badale Echoes Statement
The views of Rahul Dravid, who is now the director of National Cricket Academy (NCA), were echoed by Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale, who felt that a nine-team IPL in 2021 is “definitely possible”.
Incidentally, 10 teams were present in 2011 and 9 teams were present in 2012 and 2013 when defunct teams like Pune Warriors India, Kochi Tuskers Kerala were present as additional teams to 8 team fray.
Plenty of questions incur as talks about new IPL franchises gather steam.
“I feel IPL is ready for expansion in terms of talent, if you look from a talent perspective. There are a lot of talented players who are not getting an opportunity to play,” said Rahul Dravid.
Rahul Dravid said that if there are more teams in IPL 2021, all the talented players of top teams could be fitted in and there won’t be a drop in quality.
“So I believe we are ready as there are a lot of new names and faces in terms of talent perspective,” Dravid said during the virtual launch of Badale’s book ‘A New Innings’, which he co-authored with former English cricketer Simon Hughes.
Manoj Badale, as a stakeholder in the IPL, welcomed the idea of expansion and also spoke about various aspects that need to be factored in.
BCCI plans to float tender for new IPL franchise post-Diwali while the decision of holding IPL auctions has been on hold till December end.
“BCCI needs to take a decision and they will take a call on what would be the exact approach,” commented Manoj Badale.
“Making a nine-team league in 2021 is definitely possible but as a consequence, you will have to have more afternoon games and maintain the quality of the competition,” said Badale, a British citizen of Indian origin.
However, existing franchisees are not too happy as their revenue share will be compromised, and there are talks that the number of overseas players will be increased to 5 from 4.
Rahul Dravid: Mumbai Indians Have A Strong Core Built With World Class T20 Players
Rahul Dravid explained why Mumbai Indians had been such a prolific team has won an unprecedented five IPL titles in 13 editions.
“They (MI) have a strong core with a high quality. Their core is built with world class T20 players and balanced it with young exciting talent,” Rahul Dravid said.
BCCI, however, informed IPL franchises to wait till December for auction update.
He said it is because of IPL that players like Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals from Haryana had been able to showcase his skills to a global audience.
“Earlier, you only depended on your state association to select you for Ranji Trophy. Now, a state like Haryana produces so many quality spinners,” said Rahul Dravid.
“So it’s no longer limited to state associations,” said Rahul Dravid.
He spoke about the buzzy feeling of playing international cricket without actually playing one provided by IPL as he had been former coach of IPL franchises.
“As coaches, we can help the young players in their journeys but what helps them grow is experience, ” said Rahul Dravid.
Another aspect where the IPL has helped youngsters is the availability of worthwhile data to improve their game.
“Look at someone like T Natarajan. It was because of the quality of data that he was able to go back and work on his yorker and that one skill has now got him into the Indian team,” he said.
The last decade (2011-2020), according to Rahul Dravid, has been India’s best in terms of limited-overs cricket and the IPL has contributed in India’s dominance in shorter formats of the game.
“It has been India’s best performing decade in white ball cricket. Young players have learnt a lot watching and listening to experts on TV,” he concluded.
India won World Cup 2011, Champions Trophy 2013 besides IPL which started in 2008 gradually reached its peak in last decade producing talents like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal.