answer: Look, I’m a cricket fan and I’m one of those fans who want to see cricketers they grew up watching themselves play on the field, so that they can tell youngsters when these players (former greats) If you were on the field, what kind of passion would there be, what kind of enthusiasm would there be. Those big names still have a huge fan following. The idea was to bring all those fans from a competitive tournament to the stadium. It first came out in 2015. At that time Sachin Tendulkar tried together with Shane Warne. However, it had become like an exhibition match. Well, we couldn’t run for the long term, so we started the league.
Question: Not only India, but also veteran cricketers from all over the world participated in the league. Team India’s former head coach Ravi Shastri was also associated with the league. How difficult was it to bring all these on one platform and how planning Did?
answer: If you do any work for the first time, it will be difficult, but in those difficulties also there is a solution. When we started this, we chose a scientific path. Decided to play only those cricketers in the league which still have potential. His fitness level is fine. We first brought in Andrew Lippes (former Team India physio) and formed a group of 125 players. From them we then shortlisted how many players we can play. We knew that cricketers who are fit will not hesitate to play. Then Ravi Shastri joined us. He is the commissioner of the league. He had a great contribution. Our conversation with him was going on for a long time. He joined Team India on 15 November as soon as he became free.
It was the first men’s cricket tournament where all umpires and match referees were women. All these were from the ICC panel, so we are also supporting women empowerment. I would also like to thank ICC for this. It was not possible without their help.
Question: The whole world was battling the pandemic Covid-19. So how difficult was it to do the tournament?
answer: In view of Covid, we kept the pool big. Together with Ravi Shastri, streamed one player each. Many players could not join due to Covid protocols. On his return to the country, there was a rule of 15-15 days of quarantine, but now the path has become easier. Around 60 (54) cricketers were fed in the first season of the tournament. The good thing is that after the success of the first season, many more cricketers want to join us. It was viewed by 700 million people on different platforms across the world. Many other players will also be seen playing in the next season of the league starting in September.
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Question: What is the vision of the league, where do you find LLC in the coming years… Will it be as popular as the IPL?
answer: Look, the name of the tournament decides its vision. Legends means people who have achieved something, then we are talking about that level only. Active cricketers will not play in the tournament like IPL. There will be many problems in it. There are different cricket boards and we don’t want to go with them (don’t want to compete). Our aim is to make cricket famous. Especially in countries where this sport is less famous. For example, take Oman. We did the tournament in Oman. The ICC T20 World Cup was played, but the big cricketers did not go there. Players like Jonty Rhodes and Herschelle Gibbs, who played in LLC, spent a lot of time with Oman’s teams and this gave Oman cricketers a lot to learn from.
India has won 3 world cups in cricket. Apart from one T20 and two ODI World Cups, he has also won the ICC Champions Trophy, but this has not been the case in other sports. If sports culture comes in other sports like cricket, then we can win more and more Olympic medals.
Question: Can the next season of the tournament be held in India?
Answer: No, our aim is to organize tournaments in countries where this sport is less popular. Yes, but its timing (match timings) will be made keeping in mind the prime time of India. Today cricket means India.
Question: There were many legends in the India Maharaj team. Yuvraj Singh was also there. Virender Sehwag was also there, although he could not play due to Covid, but what was the reason for not playing Sachin?
answer: We wanted him to play. We tried our best, but he decided not to play. Business could also be the reason behind this. Apart from business, there can be many other reasons as well. For example, people did not want to travel during Covid. Actually, if the tournament took place during the third wave, then this could also be the reason. We tried our best, but the decision not to play was his own. Hope he joins us in the coming season. Fans also want to see him.