Andhra Premier League, which is set to commence on July 6, is the perfect platform to promote and inspire young and raw local cricketing talent, said Charu Sharma, sports commentator.
He is here to conduct the auction of players for the T20 Andhra Premier League (APL) on Friday. The league is being conducted by the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA). Shriram group is the title sponsor.
Appreciating the ACA for coming out with a good T20 league model, he said, T20 cricket had been a game changer and it was because of this model that the Indian cricket had over 250 brilliant cricketers waiting in the wings for a place in the 20-member Indian team, in any format.
“Our bench strength has grown enormously and it can be justified by saying that we have at least 10 world-class fast bowlers, apart from those playing, waiting for a break,” he said.
“For the cricket perfects test matches may continue to be the real game of cricket, but T20 is evolving and it is the future of cricket. It is the format that will take people where they want to go,” said Mr. Sharma.
According to him, the world was moving towards T20 cricket and league formats such as the APL were the perfect platform for grooming home-grown talent.
“In India, we already have about four States such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Saurashtra promoting the T20 league and they have become the happening places for the T20 scouts. Days are not far when scouts from various IPL franchises will be quietly sitting in the stands and spotting talents from APL for their respective teams,” he said.
According to him, the starting of APL was a good idea by the ACA, as it would not only give a break to some local talent and motivate them to play better, but it would also enable a dreamy-eyed cricketer to make some money.
There were many players in IPL who had made it big from leagues such as TNPL and KPL.
“In the earlier days, only the top 20 cricketers were earning money, but now due to IPL and other local leagues such as APL, TNPL and KPL, at least 500 to 600 cricketers are making a living professionally. Not only cricketers, but even support staff are also making a living,” he said.
Talking about the auction of players, he said for APL this was the first season and hence it would be a total auction for all the 20 players, including the captain.
The franchisees were all set for the auction, as the ACA had organised a mock auction with Mr. Sharma on Thursday evening.
About 368 players have been selected to go under the hammer and 120 will be selected by the six franchisee teams.
Each team will have two iconic players, which is mandatory and who will be from the Andhra Ranji team. The rest will be from U-19 district to senior district players.
The ACA has compiled a book with the statistics of the players, to give the franchisees a peep into the players whom they intend to select and buy.