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‘There are a lot of talented players who are not getting an opportunity to play’ – Rahul Dravid bats for expansion of IPL

MI beat DC by 5 wickets in the IPL 2020 final on November 10 (Credits: IPLT20.com)
MI beat DC by 5 wickets in the IPL 2020 final on November 10 (Credits: IPLT20.com)
ANALYST
Modified 13 Nov 2020, 20:08 IST
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Former India captain Rahul Dravid voiced his opinion about the need to expand the number of franchises participating in the Indian Premier League, and dish out equal opportunities to every deserving candidate.

There have already been talks of a ninth team coming into the foray from IPL 2021, and the number of participants could rise up to 10 by 2023. Dravid, the former captain of the Rajasthan Royals, was speaking at the virtual launch of RR co-owner Manoj Badale’s book ‘A New Innings’, which he co-authored with former English cricketer Simon Hughes.

“I feel IPL is ready for expansion, in terms of the available talent. There are a lot of talented players who are not getting an opportunity to play...So I believe we are ready as there are lot of new names and faces in terms of talent perspective,” Rahul Dravid said.

The Mumbai Indians recently won their second consecutive IPL title, which was also the franchise's fifth tournament victory. Dravid credited the Mumbai Indians' strong core and scouting structure for the team's consistent success.

“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. They have a very strong scouting structure in place,” the 47-year-old reasoned.

"Earlier, you only depended on your state association to select you for the Ranji Trophy," says Rahul Dravid

T Natarajan (centre) in action during SRH
T Natarajan (centre) in action during SRH's Eliminator win against RCB (Credits: IPLT20.com)

Rahul Dravid heaped praise on the IPL for serving as a pathway for young players to make their way into international cricket. He also applauded the cash-rich league for improving the quality of players associated with it and helping prodigies prepare better to take their game up a notch.

“Earlier, you only depended on your state association to select you for Ranji Trophy. Now, from a state like Haryana which produces so many quality spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal, Amit Mishra and Jayant Yadav, Tewatia would have had limited opportunities,” Rahul Dravid, who scored 2,174 runs in 89 IPL games, explained.

Rahul Dravid also spoke about the franchises’ analytics team, which plays a pivotal role in helping young players improve their game with the help of data.

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“As coaches, we can help the young players in their journeys but what helps them grow is experience. Look at a Devdutt Padikkal who is batting alongside Virat Kohli or can learn from AB de Villiers.
"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,” Rahul Dravid further added.

While 21-year-old Padikkal won the Emerging Player award after scoring 473 runs in 15 matches at an average of 31.53, T Natarajan picked 16 wickets in as many games and developed a habit of hitting the blockhole.

Published 13 Nov 2020, 20:06 IST
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