Mumbai: Feb 23, 2013
Indian cricket great Rahul Dravid on Saturday said it was important to revive university cricket and thought using the T20 format was the best way to go about it.
“It is important that university cricket becomes popular and boys play. We have seen in the last 20 years, university cricket has died a bit. It has become dead. So to revive it, if T20 is needed then there is no problem,” Dravid said.
“It is a good thing that boys would get an opportunity to play and cricket will revive. Then taking it forward, three- day four-day cricket can come also come. But you need to revive university cricket first,” he said at the Toyota University Cricket Championship event.
The inter-university tournament played in the T20 format, is an extension of the existing Rohinton Baria Trophy and will feature eight teams.
“I think university cricket and especially Rohinton Baria at one time was one of the most high profile elite tournament in this country. A lot of cricketers came and played for India from their performances in university cricket. That over the years has died down.
“With initiatives like this and competition like this there is a great opportunity to revive cricket in the universities and give people a chance to play in universities.
“For me it is special because it allows children — the young boys and girls — the opportunity to study as well to play sport. I think that is very important in today’s day and age,” the former Indian skipper said.
Asked if people prefer the shorter format, Dravid said, “Obviously T20 cricket is easy to come and watch in the evenings. You don’t have to spend the whole day so that makes a big difference. I think people still follow Test cricket and support it in their own way. They might not be able to come to the ground,” he said.
Dravid said he couldn’t have finished a two-mile run like Shahrukh Khan but was happy that the Bollywood actor was promoting sports not only at the elite level with the Indian Premier League but also at the grass root level.
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