New Delhi:Former India skipper Rahul Dravid believes that the IPL is ripe for expansion to nine teams in the near future, in order to provide an extra outlet for the surge of young Indian talent that the competition has helped to unleash since its inception in 2008.
Dravid, who currently heads the National Cricket Academy, helped mentor a clutch of this year's IPL debutants - including Rajasthan Royals' Yashasvi Jaiswal and Kartik Tyagi, and Kings XI Punjab's Ravi Bishnoi - when he oversaw India's run to the final of the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year.
"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." Dravid said that if there are more teams, all the talented players could be fitted in and there won't be a drop in quality.
"Purely from a talent perspective, I think we're ready for IPL expansion," Dravid said during the virtual launch of Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale's book 'A New Innings', which he co-authored with former English cricketer Simon Hughes.
"Citing example of sustained success of Mumbai Indians, whose unrivalled blend of youth and experience has propelled them to five IPL titles in the past eight seasons. 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," Dravid said.
Cricket can be included in Olympics, says Rahul Dravid
New Delhi:Former India skipper, Rahul Dravid, feels cricket can be part of the Olympics.
Dravid, the director of cricket operations at India's national academy, accepted the move had "its challenges", he felt it would help the "expansion" of the game and suggested "cricket should endeavour to try and get into the Olympics".
"I think it would be great for the game if the T20 format can become an Olympic sport," Dravid said on Friday at the virtual launch of A New Innings, a book written by Manoj Badale and Simon Hughes that investigates the business of sport through the lens of the IPL.
"There's cricket being played in so many countries. I'm certainly for the expansion of the T20 game."
The ICC recently provided a boost to the prospects of a return of the sport to the event - it was contested in the 1900 Paris Olympics - by asking members to report on the potential financial benefits of inclusion.
"Not least of all cricket's a game that requires certain kinds of facilities for it to be successful. As we've just seen, the success of the IPL was in a large part due to the quality of wickets that were put out for the teams. The Olympics is played in countries where cricket is not played.
"But if you can get a lot of that right and if it works in the schedule and if you can get the facilities in place, then why not? If it's possible, I think cricket should endeavour to try and get into the Olympics at some stage. It might take some time, but why not?"
Andrew Wildblood, one of the original architects of the IPL, and Badale, the owner of Rajasthan Royals, agreed with Dravid's assessment.(UNI)