Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

East Delhi BJP MP and former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir is planning to organize a T20 cricket tournament, the East Delhi Premier League, featuring teams from the 10 constituencies of East Delhi, at the upgraded Yamuna Sports Complex, which was recently upgraded to Ranji Trophy standards with two international-level dressing rooms, four pitches, practice pitches, flood lights, electronic scoreboard, canopies, dressing room, sponsors box, and a side screen.

The tournament will have three international players as selectors, while the teams from the constituencies namely, Jangpura, Okhla, Trilokpuri, Kondli, Patparganj, Laxmi Nagar, Vishwas Nagar, Shahdara, Krishna Nagar and Gandhi Nagar, would be selected after trials. The 39-year-old further informed that the tournament will kickstart in October last week and will last until November.

The idea is to give good cricketing experiences to people of the constituency: Gautam Gambhir

“The age criteria will be between 17 and 36 years. Trials would be held, and international-level players would select players from each constituency… transparency would be ensured in these trials and only people who are residents of the constituency can represent the teams,” Gambhir told the Indian Express.

“Each team would be auctioned after fixing a base price and the money generated from the sponsors would be used to provide facilities to players. The idea is to give good cricketing experiences to people of the constituency. In the process, if we find talented players whose potential has gone unnoticed due to lack of facilities, they would be further groomed,” he added.

“The idea is to use the IPL format, where there are sponsors, jerseys, mentors, and replicate it at the local level,” said an aide of Gambhir. Meanwhile, Gambhir further informed that special coaches, sports kits for players, physiologists, and other facilities that players get at the domestic level would be made available to all the participants. Regarding whether the tournament will be conducted behind closed doors or crowd will be allowed, the southpaw said that a decision will be made as per the Covid-19 situation at the time of conduction.

Gambhir, who represented India in 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is, amassing over 10,000 runs, joined politics after his international retirement.


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