Halar Heroes have fired the opening salvo. Kutch Warriors have perhaps learned their first lesson. In a template so eternally suited to unexpectedness, one wonders if the Saurashtra Premier League 2019 has such brilliant entertainment as seen in the maiden game in the contests that lie ahead?
And while there’s little sense to doubt that, here’s a quick perspective on where the T20 franchise action rests in India, at this time.
Just a few hours ago, the battle for supremacy to be crowned as the IPL Champions has finally drawn to a close with the Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians toppling Chennai Super Kings to emerge victorious for a record fourth time.
The seven-week long T20 carnival provided mouth-watering clashes, many invariably decided on the final delivery of the match. Apart from that, some debatable and feisty moments during the IPL grabbed eyeballs and headlines at the same time.
The viewership for the IPL has been soaring since the day it got underway and with the presence of all the T20 stars, it is set to reach even greater heights in the days to come. But, the fun and slam-bang action of T20 Cricket is set to continue with the Saurashtra Premier League 2019.
Way back in 2007 when Rahul Dravid’s men were relegated from the ICC Cricket World Cup, some of the Cricket administrators in India had already planned a T20 based cricket league which would feature some of the International stars who would play alongside Indian domestic players. The now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) started a global trend of T20 leagues along the lines of football.
With the IPL reaching dizzying heights, T20s have got a massive thrust, which has resulted in positive exposure to youngsters who can come in and express themselves freely in a format that warrants fearlessness of approach. The Saurashtra Premier League 2019 kicks off at such a juncture when T20 action is irresistible. With the likes of Mumbai Premier League and Karnataka Premier League also garnering positive interest, the Saurashtra Premier League is all set to come up trumps as far as success is concerned.
Cricket fans at Rajkot have a delightful prospect ahead as they are going to be treated with some exhilarating cricket from 14 to 22 May. In order to ensure maximum viewership, the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) has announced free entry into the stadium for the fans.
The tournament will be played amongst five teams, which would feature some talented youngsters of Saurashtra including India’s Test star Cheteshwar Pujara and Rajasthan Royals left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat.
Pujara would be captaining Zalawad Royals and Unadkat would be leading the troops of Kutch Warriors. Apart from these two teams, Gohilwad Gladiators, Halar Heroes, and Sorath Lions would be led by Kamlesh Makwana, Arpit Vasavada, and Sagar Jogiyani respectively.
The Saurashtra Premier league 2019 is a huge blessing for the local Saurashtra players who can showcase their skills and subsequently impress the national selectors.
A piece of good news is that all the squads have a plethora of young and dynamic players.
That’s said, let’s try and understand the strengths and weaknesses of all five units participating in the Saurashtra Premier League 2019, a contest that shall hopefully add more colors to the dynamism that T20 is.
The team has a good bowling attack and a slightly inexperienced batting line up. Indian U-19 wicketkeeper H Desai would provide stability both as a wicketkeeper and a batsman.
Out of all the five teams, Kutch Warriors have the most experienced team. And with the presence of Jaydev Unadkat, Kutch enters the tourney with the tag of being the favorites. Apart from him, Snell Patel and Arpit Vasavada would also hold the key for the warriors.
Jogiyani, Chirag Jani and Dharmendra Jadeja are the vital cogs of the Lions’ wheel as they have the much-required experience. Jadeja’s vast experience of First Class Cricket would be vital to the team’s fortunes in the tournament.
With the presence of Cheteshwar Pujara and Sheldon Jackson, this team has an abundance of experience which would be imperative to their success. Lack of flamboyance in the batting department can be a shot in the arm for the otherwise versatile team.
The squad has some explosive batsmen and the players to watch out for would be Kamlesh Makwana and Chirag Sisodiya.
With all the State Associations trying to come up with their own T20 League, 2018-19 Ranji Finalists, Saurashtra has also followed suit. Hopefully, the Tournament would be a grand success and unearth some young players with spark and potential who could possibly be seen playing in the IPL or even India in the near future.