If you are someone who cares about Cricket a little bit and would never change a bit, not even a tiny bit after the completion of the Men’s ODI 2023 World Cup, then there’s some good news.
No, nobody is starting a family.
Well, guess what? It’s already been created and is looking forward to you, the fan to visit it. Seriously.
The Board for Veteran Cricket in India, the official cricket board entrusted with furthering the game for veteran cricketers runs like a close-knit family. It was founded by the renowned cricket personality from India, the late-great Chetan Chauhan, its founding president.
The Pune-based cricket board aims to create a platform and pedestal for veteran cricketers with the core idea being to further their cricketing endeavours. What could be better than finding a meaningful way to remain associated with the cricket pitch, the place a cricketer calls home away from his actual home?
And that’s precisely why the Board for Veteran Cricket in India, also known as the BVCI, must be congratulated for giving a brand new addition to the cricket family.
It’s called the BVPL alias the Bharat Veteran Premier League and its season one, about to kickstart in December, will present cricket fans and lovers from around the world a new face in T20 cricket.
Bharat Veteran Premier League, a one of its kind T20 league in that it’s exclusively for veteran cricketers, is the brain child of every member of the wonderful Board for Veteran Cricket in India, currently commanded by Mr. Praveen Tyagi.
But let’s dive into the world of the personalities who are behind the league that should, ideally speaking, create a storm in the world of T20 cricket.
The league’s CEO, Aalok Saxena, is a live wire of a person; energetic, modest, quietly intelligent and a go-getter. Aalok ji, as he’s often addressed with much fondness, is a people’s man who doesn’t mind blending in the background when he could own the main frame.
There’s Shri Sudhir Kulkarni, Secretary, BVCI, one of the nicest and most gentle individual you’d ever have the pleasure of meeting.
Even his way of being straightforward, which is such a rarity nowadays, is marked with simplicity, not bluntness.
There’s Mr. JK Mahindra, one of the finest former Ranji cricketers from our country and a remarkable personality from Kerala; erudite and learned. If you were looking for what it means to be in love with cricket, look beyond the pitch and sit next to Mr. Mahindra.
His admiration for the game and deep knowledge of it can put many so called self-styled experts to shame.
Then there’s the ever smiling Shri Vinod Phadke, the Vice-President of the board; easy going and affable.
Don’t miss out on the dynamic Mr. Arun Taploo, Cricket chair; a personality you would love to run into not only because of his love for the game but for the very fact that his boundless energy and passion for it makes him travel and converse with several from around the globe ceaselessly.
Now whether you are a die-hard fan of the game or of meeting individuals from different walks of life, you must get to know Shri Ravindra Tyagi, Vice-President, BVCI and President, UP Veteran Cricket Association.
Not a soul you’d meet everyday.
With his warm smile, polite demeanour and sheer humility, Mr. Tyagi is an embodiment of success with simplicity.
And then, of course, there’s Mr. Praveen Tyagi, the man leading India’s latest gift to the world of T20 cricket- the Bharat Veteran Premier League with true zest. His incredible resourcefulness and ability to get people from far off places together under one roof with the idea to promote veteran cricketers under the aegis of the Board (BVCI) is brilliant.
Had each of these personalities- gifted, passionate, honest- not been there together, we’d not be getting the Cricketing fiesta that hopefully much of India will keenly wait for: Bharat Veteran Premier League in the month of December.
Six teams, each with a roaster of sixteen players, composite of two international icons (and we do mean icons) and two Bharat icons shall form the core of the eleven-a-side unit.
The rest will be talented veteran cricketers who’ll get a chance to shine along with the more established or shall we say, pre-eminent cricketers.
As a matter of fact, there are 12 regional talents for all six teams.
The bidding for the same was concluded recently in Mumbai, however, not before an elaborate almost IPL-style bidding system that must garner praise and respect that any rising T20 league deserves.
The likes of Ferveez Maharoof, former Sri Lankan national cricketer with 140 caps and 167 wickets to his name (not to forget, over 1,100 runs and 5 fifties) along with former Indian national cricketer and noted pundit, Atul Wassan conducted the player auction process across a two-day event held in Mumbai.
But were they alone?
What was interesting, among other things, was the presence of Suhaas Vedham, a rising name in the field of cricket communication. With his youthful energy and endless passion to host cricket events, Suhaas’ wit and readiness to connect with those that had gathered over a long process- well that’s bidding anyway- was there to see. The Delhi-based lad rescued the session from getting even dreary perhaps.
That told, there were endless smiles and sheer enthusiasm in the end as each of the six BVPL franchises finally emerged but not before long deliberations to pick their respective squads.
The next step now in BVPL’s growing journey is to set up training camps and get the team members together to prepare for the big event in December, due to take place at the picturesque and very welcoming Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
But hang on. We aren’t done yet.
With names like Chris Gayle, Chris Morris, Christopher Mpofu, Sanath Jayasuriya, Michael Clarke, Rajat Bhatia, Manpreet Singh, Anureet Singh, Praveen Kumar among others, it seems all roads on the cricketing front will now lead to Dehradun.
Come soon, December, where are you!?
Here’s each of the team’s, beginning with…..
Red Carpet Delhi
VVIP Uttar Pradesh
That told, the following is what Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister, Government of India shared with regards to BVPL, a revolution in the world of cricket for veteran cricketers:
“BVPL is more than just a cricket league; it’s a celebration of the enduring love for cricket and the skill of our veteran players. I’m thrilled to see the enthusiasm and talent this league brings forth. We’re proud to support this initiative and look forward to an extraordinary season ahead.”