Season 3 of T-10 gully cricket tournament launched
New Delhi: Aiming to promote cricket in the nondescript by-lanes of India, a private company in association with national broadcaster, Doordarhsan, on Wednesday announced the launch of the third season of `T-10 Gully Cricket: Ab Har Koi Khelega`.
The event, which will start on February 18, will witness 16 teams emerging from the initial round of inter-district challenge, and vie for a purse of Rs 25 lakh.
The tournament, backed by Reasonable Communications Pvt Ltd, is supposed to engage non-first class cricketers from as many as nine states, and will also host a 10-day camp for the players before they head for the finals.
The top 17 players will be selected on the basis of their performance in the tournament to finally represent the `Gully team`.
Talking to reporters on the occasion, the mentor of the campaign, Charu Sharma said that the aim of the tournament is to provide a good platform to those who are not able to make it to the highest level.
"The tournament gives hope to the youngsters. There are few number of players who make it to the highest level, but there is a considerable number who don`t make it to the top level. The event provides them a platform to showcase their talent and inspires them to move ahead," Sharma said.
Asked whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had any reservations against the tournament, Sharma said, "We have always extended a warm hand to the board and we are not poaching on the contracted players.”
"Board is wise enough to realise that all the formats can co-exist," Sharma asserted.
He also emphasised the role of Doordarshan in promoting the concept and thanked the national broadcaster for its support. "It is always great to see oneself on television, the support will definitely help the kids across the country," Charu expressed.
Deputy Director General of Doordarshan, Ashok Jailkhani, reiterated that the tournament was tailor-made for the broadcaster and signified the commitment of Doordarshan in promoting sports and sportspersons across the country.
"We don`t have any commercial interest in promoting the concept. The event provides platform to the youngsters and enables them to get the national recognition," Jailkhani stressed.
Answering a question regarding the flouting of norms in promoting the event, which in no way represents the rural or prescribed sport at a subsidised rates, Jailkhani said, "We have provisions for promoting such events and we were doing no wrong in promoting the concept."
Sharma added that we should appreciate the role of the broadcaster and "not go on beating them with the sticks".
On whether the company looks ahead to host similar concept for other sports or was it only cricket because of the sponsorship value associated with it, director Anoop Wadhwa said, "For any concept to prosper there is need of money and as such we have not been able to generate lot of sponsorship. Once we get established and see enough amount of money in our kitty, we will definitely look to support other sports also."