Rahul Dravid supports the inclusion of 9th team for IPL 2021

Dravid feels that this is the right team to bring in the ninth team as still there are many youngsters who are not getting opportunities

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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There are speculations that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to expand the Indian Premier League (IPL) by adding one more team. Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid backed this idea as he feels that this will provide more opportunities to the young cricketers who are looking for making a global statement with their exemplary performances.

Dravid, who heads India’s National Cricket Academy, feels that this is the right team to bring in the ninth team as still there are many youngsters who are not getting opportunities to express themselves at the big stage. The former wicketkeeper-batsman reckons the Indian league has helped many U-19 cricketers to establish themselves in the cricket fraternity.

“Purely from a talent perspective, I think we’re ready for an expansion. It’s been fantastic to see so many of those young Under-19 boys come on and establish themselves, not only for their state teams but also in the IPL. But many more are actually not getting opportunities.

“They are sitting outside in a lot of these teams because the quality of the cricket is so good and there are so many good and experienced players,” Dravid said during the launch of the book New Innings.

Mumbai Indians have a very good scouting structure: Rahul Dravid

IPL franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) are one of the most successful teams in the history of the T20 Championship. They have emerged as winners for a record five times. Explaining the reason behind Mumbai’s exploits in IPL, Dravid stated that MI has a very good scouting structure and have backed a lot of young talents like Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan.

“This is why Mumbai Indians have been so good. What they’ve done really well over the last four or five years is to maintain a strong core of really high-quality players and mix that up with some really good young talents.”

“They were able to spot Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya at a young age, they’ve brought in Rahul Chahar and backed Ishan Kishan, and while you wouldn’t exactly call Suryakumar Yadav a young player because he’s been around for a while, a large part of their success is down to a very good scouting structure,” the former Indian captain added.

Further in the interaction, the 47-year-old lauded the authorities for providing a platform in the form of IPL where the young players have an opportunity to rub shoulders with the greats of the game and express themselves in a more impactful manner.

“Now the IPL is not only about the top level. In the past in Indian cricket, when young players were looking for opportunities, the only place they got them from was from the state associations. They needed to play for their Ranji Trophy team in their own state, but today because of the IPL, you can be from Karnataka and you can play for Mumbai,” Rahul Dravid concluded.