BCCI's Corporate Trophy launched


OBJECT OF DESIRE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid eye the  BCCI Corporate Trophy as Sahara’s head of corporate communications, Abhijit Sarkar, looks on on Thursday. DH photo

“This is a step from the BCCI for the welfare of cricket, cricketers and for the development of infrastructure in the country. The Indian Premier League has revived the interest of corporates in cricket. So we feel this is the right time to conduct such a tournament,” BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said during the launch here of the tournament beginning on Sept 1.

“This tournament has received tremendous response from corporates all over the country. Unfortunately, we could not take all of them into the fold due to the limited time frame,” he said, adding that only full-time employees can represent teams in the event.
Rahul Dravid, picked to play for India Cements long before he broke into the Indian team, spoke of the contributions of corporates.

“Corporate and public sectors have played a major role in developing the game in India. There was a time when players got to play quality cricket only during the Ranji Trophy season if they were not playing international cricket. But the arrival of corporate teams changed that.”

He also spoke of some well-known club rivalries. “There were some great rivalries like Mafatlal-Nirlon (Mumbai), SBM-Syndicate Bank (Bangalore), Chemplast-MRF-India Cements (Chennai) and ONGC-Air India (Delhi) that produced fine cricket. It also provided an opportunity for young cricketers to rub shoulders with international cricketers and broaden their horizons,” he noted.

Dravid also emphasised on the security aspect. “Sometime back, getting employed with a corporate/public sector not only ensured a chance to play quality cricket, but a feeling of security in terms of career even if a player did not make it to the top level. I feel this tournament has the potential to become a siginificant event in the calendar,” Dravid said.

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