April 26, 2012

Indian Premier League

What has become of the city-based league?

Nikita Bastian

The IPL was initially promoted as a city-based league with the emphasis on building a strong local connect, says Hindustan Times' Sanjjeev Karan Samyal, but somewhere along the line that concept has been lost.

... Teams have shown an unwillingness to expend energy in trying to promote local talent in their teams. For most of them, it’s just about fielding the best XI and hoping that success will automatically ensure fan connect. Otherwise, how do you explain some of Mumbai’s best players plying their trade outside, which is also the case with Delhi and other franchises.

Among Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy players in the IPL, Rahane and Ankeet Chavan are with Rajasthan Royals, Abhishek Nayar is with Kings XI Punjab, Iqbal Abdulla is with Kolkata Knight Riders and skipper Ajit Agarkar is with Delhi. Only Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma are regulars in the MI playing XI. Sharing the feelings of the Mumbai cricket fraternity, a young pace bowler who was with MI for the first three seasons before being off-loaded, says: “Where are the Mumbai boys in the team? No one looks after the interest of the local players.”

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Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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