Former India captain Rahul Dravid, who is now the director of National Cricket Academy (NCA), said he strongly believes the Indian Premier League (IPL) is “ready for expansion”, in terms of number of teams, without compromising on the quality as well as quantity of talent available in the country.
“So I believe we are ready as there are lot of new names and faces in terms of talent perspective,” Dravid said during the virtual launch of Manoj Badale’s book ‘A New Innings’, which he co-authored with former English cricketer, Simon Hughes.
Dravid added that if there are more teams, all the talented players could be fitted in and there won’t be a drop in quality.
There are talks that the 2021 IPL will be featuring nine teams instead of eight and will go up to 10 teams by 2023, which has always been the BCCI’s long-term plan.
David further explained why Mumbai Indians has been such a prolific team, having 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. They have a very strong scouting structure in place,” Dravid said.
He said it is because of IPL that someone like Rahul Tewatia from Haryana has been able to showcase his skills to a global audience.
“Earlier, you only depended on your state association to select you for the 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. So it’s no longer limited to state associations,” David said.
Rajasthan Royals co-owner, Manoj Badale, as a stakeholder in IPL, welcomed the idea of expansion. “Making a nine-team league in 2021 is definitely possible but, as a consequence, you will have to have more afternoon games and maintain quality of the competition,” said Badale, a British citizen of Indian origin.
Badale added: “I feel IPL is ready for expansion in terms of talent, if you look from talent perspective. There are a lot of talented players who are not getting an opportunity to play.”
Badale also spoke about various aspects that need to be factored in. “BCCI needs to take a decision and they will take a call on what would be the exact approach.”