Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has encouraged the participants of the inaugural T20 Mumbai League to play fearless brand of cricket while respecting the opposition. Tendulkar, who is the brand ambassador of T20 Mumbai League, also talked at length about the initiative and its vision to shape up the budding cricketers besides providing them with a livelihood.
“My message to all youngsters here is to be competitive and play cricket as hard as you can, but you got to play it fair. With appreciation and recognition, do not forget that the game has got you here. So don’t disrespect the game,” Sachin Tendulkar said while speaking at the opening ceremony of the six-team event on Saturday (March 10).
Stressing on the significance of competitive league cricket, the batting maestro added: “I think this league will be very important for Mumbai cricketers. It’s all about getting opportunities and providing a platform to express yourself. For any sportsman, the most important thing is recognition and appreciation. This league is going to do that and also provide employment to support staff. Even ten years ago, there were no such leagues where we could have a career playing any sport.”
Sachin also suggested the teams to make best use of the available resources.
“Champions make the best of facilities that are available to them, without complaining. There will always be something lacking. I would ask the players to go out, give your best, and when there are problems, find solutions. Don’t focus on what’s not there; focus on what you’ve got. And I think you have got plenty to prove,” he asserted.
The showpiece event will witness quite a few well-known names featuring in it. While India’s Test vice-captain will captain North Mumbai Panthers, young India batsman Shreyas Iyer will lead Mumbai North Central. Plenty of domestic stars such as Abhishek Nayar, Suryakumar Yadav, Iqbal Abdulla and Siddhesh Lad will also make the event rich with their presence.
“For senior cricketers, this is your golden opportunity to share all your knowledge with youngsters. I feel with international cricketers participating in this tournament, it’s going to be really special for youngsters,” Tendulkar said.
Prithvi Shaw, who recently led India U-19 side to their record four Youth World Cup titles, was roped in by Mumbai North during the auction last week. The batting legend also had a word of praise for Shaw.
“I was watching Prithvi Shaw’s matches in New Zealand and the way he has progressed is remarkable. But his journey has just begun, and I know that he will not rest on his laurels and pull his foot off the accelerator. This is the time (for him) to press the accelerator as hard as possible, work as hard as possible. There are many mentors here in the team, make the most of this opportunity,” Tendulkar concluded.