Rahul Dravid calls for Indian Premier League expansion

Rahul Dravid Indian Premier League

India legend Rahul Dravid has called for an expansion of the Indian Premier League to nine teams.

Dravid, who heads India’s National Cricket Academy, feels that it is now the right time to expand the tournament to give young players more opportunities to impress and grow as players.

Dravid wants to see more youngsters shine

Many of the exciting young talents on show in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League in the UAE have been mentored by Dravid and he is thrilled to see so many prospects emerge through the T20 showpiece.

“Purely from a talent perspective, I think we’re ready for an expansion,” Dravid said during the launch of the book New Innings

“It’s been fantastic to see so many of those young Under-19 boys come on and establish themselves, not only for their state teams but also in the IPL. But many more are actually not getting opportunities. They are sitting outside in a lot of these teams, because the quality of the cricket is so good and there are so many good and experienced players.

“This is why Mumbai Indians have been so good,” he added. “What they’ve done really well over the last four or five years is to maintain a strong core of really high-quality players and mix that up with some really good young talents.

“They were able to spot Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya at a young age, they’ve brought in Rahul Chahar and backed Ishan Kishan, and while you wouldn’t exactly call Suryakumar Yadav a young player because he’s been around for a while, a large part of their success is down to a very good scouting structure.”

Indian Premier League drawing talent from far and wide

Dravid lauded the affect of Indian Premier League teams casting a wide net in search of new talent.

“Now the IPL is not only about the top level,” Dravid said. “In the past in Indian cricket, when young players were looking for opportunities, the only place they got them from was from the state associations. They needed to play for their Ranji Trophy team in their own state, but today because of the IPL, you can be from Karnataka and you can play for Mumbai.”

Since the inaugural Indian Premier League in 2008, there have been eight franchises in the tournament.