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Fifteen years ago, the seeds of a cricket revolution were planted when the Indian Premier League (IPL) was shut down. The IPL has become a sensation that has resonated with fans and every season guarantees outstanding performances and the birth of a new generation of heroes. The ‘Incredible’ Premier League has grown significantly in recent years, with two more teams joining the fray, making it one of the most competitive cricket leagues in the world.
To celebrate the success of IPL, Star Sports organized a show – ‘The Incredible Awards’ in the presence of IPL stars and legends of Indian cricket – Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan. At a press conference organized by Star Sports to celebrate 15 years of IPL, former Team India opener Virender Sehwag talks about how performance in the T20 franchise tournament has become a defining parameter for foreign players.
“I think the competitiveness of IPL has increased to such a level that all players from different countries want to play IPL. The performance they give in IPL is counted and evaluated in their own countries. For example, David Warner performed so well in the IPL and after that he came to play in the Australian international team and he performed well there too.Also the biggest advantage of the IPL is that we got young players from small towns who have emerged and performed well by give their best with the highest level of competitiveness,” said Sehwag.
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“IPL has benefited young talent the most. Earlier no one was noticed from Ranji Trophy performances and hence could not make it to the Indian team. But now if you perform well in IPL and you showcase your talent then you immediately get an opportunity for to play for the Indian team.Because of IPL so many kids from smaller states in the country have started taking cricket seriously and are trying their best to participate in IPL and are striving hard for it.For example my son is 15 years old and working already hard to get a chance to play in IPL,” said the former India opener.
Former Team India spinner Harbhajan Singh also spoke about how the T20 tournament has made Indian uncapped players into household names. “The number of youngsters who have been given an opportunity would never have thought that they would get to share the dressing room with Sachin Tendulkar, Pollock, Shane Warne. When a young cricketer’s family sees him on TV playing with a Shane Warne, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni, then there is also this sense of satisfaction among the family that the youngster’s hard work has paid off.
“This was possible only because there was a television station like Star Sports. If there was no television, no one would have been able to put a face on a player from any team. Today we know every IPL player’s name and face because of television, Harbhajan said.
Cricket lovers can watch ‘The Incredible Awards’ on Star Sports Network at 10 PM IST on February 20.
(with IANS input)
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