Sachin Tendulkar suggested the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) can create opportunities for youngsters in inter-school and inter-collegiate cricket by allowing 15 players to compete in each team.

“Talented youngsters will get chances to display their talent at the school and college level. It is those kids who are borderline cases who should not suffer from lack of opportunity,” said the maestro.

He was speaking at a felicitation function by the MCA on Tuesday.

He said: “Mumbai cricket should take the lead and I am sure Indian cricket will follow. It is because of Mumbai’s club culture that we produce cricketers and teams worthy of winning the Ranji Trophy for many years.

“When I played club cricket, 15 players would get the chance to showcase their batting and bowling ability in matches. I wish more kids could be given the same. Selectors will also benefit from having more players to choose from. As a former cricketer, this is what I feel.”

Mumbai’s dominance

Tendulkar touched upon Mumbai’s dominance in the Ranji Trophy. “For the Mumbai Ranji team, I know the situation is tough with many seniors away playing for India. This challenge should bring out the best in you and I will be the first one to join you in celebrations if Mumbai can win in this situation.”

Defending champion Mumbai has to play the remaining league games without Zaheer Khan, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, all away on national duty.

Noted coach and Dronacharya awardee Ramakant Achrekar was also felicitated by the MCA president Sharad Pawar, joined on stage by his famous ward Tendulkar, who helped his mentor cut the cake on the occasion of his 81st birthday.

Former India captain Ajit Wadekar also spoke about Achrekar’s rise from a dreaded batsman in tennis ball cricket into a serious coach who moulded a talented kid into a world cricket icon.

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