Rahul Dravid Weighs In On Need For 9th Team In IPL, Says Tournament 'ready For Expansion'

Weighing upon the possibility of a 9th team in the IPL, former India captain Rahul Dravid opined that the cash-rich tournament is 'ready for expansion'

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Rahul Dravid

Weighing upon the possibility of a ninth team in the upcoming edition of the IPL, former India captain Rahul Dravid opined that the cash-rich tournament is 'ready for expansion'. Highlighting that a ninth team would provide more opportunities for youngsters, Dravid stated that there are many players that go unnoticed. As per certain reports, the BCCI is planning to introduce a new franchise in the upcoming edition of the IPL which is less than 6 months away. 

“I feel IPL is ready for expansion in terms of talent, if you look from a talent perspective. There are a lot of talented players who are not getting an opportunity to play. So I believe we are ready as there are a lot of new names and faces in terms of talent,” PTI quoted Dravid.  

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'Look at a Devdutt Padikkal...'

Pointing to the rise of young guns like Yuzvendra Chahal, Jayant Yadav and Rahul Tewatia, Dravid reflected that earlier the board was depended on the state association to select players for the Ranji Trophy which would then pave way for youngsters into the Indian team. “As coaches, we can help the young players in their journeys but what helps them grow is experience. Look at a Devdutt Padikkal who is batting alongside Virat Kohli or can learn from AB de Villiers,” Dravid added. 

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Dravid also stressed upon the benefit of the IPL to youngsters helping them find their way into the Indian team. Giving the example of T Natrajan, who has been recently selected in the Indian team for the tour of Australia, Dravid said that it was because of the quality of data available that the Hyderabad player could improve his yorker. “Look at someone like T Natarajan. It was because of the quality of data that he was able to go back and work on his yorker and that one skill has now got him into the Indian team,” he said.

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Certain reports have informed that the new franchise is being brought in to compensate for the loss incurred by the board during the Coronavirus outbreak which affected the IPL 2020. The new franchise is most likely to represent Ahmedabad, with the new Motera Stadium to its name. The BCCI is also likely to introduce the tenth team in the tournament by the year 2023. Apart from 2011, 2012, and 2013 editions, the IPL has always featured 8 teams. 

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