IPL in South Africa won’t affect Indian following: Sachin

April 14th, 2009 - 10:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Batting genius Sachin Tendulkar Tuesday said Indian Premier League (IPL) has changed the face of cricket in the country and feels the shifting of the Twenty20 tournament to South Africa would not impact its following in India.
The IPL this year will be played in South Africa as it clashed with the general elections in the country.

“IPL has changed the Indian cricket. It is the first time in cricket that players from all over the world are competing against one another. It is a great opportunity for the younger players who get to rub shoulders with the top players,” Tendulkar said at a reception by Jaypee Group.

“It is disappointing for the Indians that the IPL has been shifted to South Africa. I am sure the BCCI did its best to hold it in the country. But I do not think that it will affect the popularity of IPL. It will be followed as much as it was last year.”

Tendulkar, who is the captain of the Mumbai Indians, said the team is prepared for the challenge.

“Mumbai Indians are a balanced team. We have a good blend of experience and youth. We have wonderful players in Sanath Jaysuriya, J.P. Duminy, Abhishek Nayar. I hope even this time our players will impress with their performance and have a terrific impact on all other guys,” Sachin said.

“Shaun Pollock and Jonty Rhodes are mentoring the team. The team has been practising in South Africa from past month, and Pollock and Jonty are guiding the team how to make the best of the condition,” he said.

Asked to comment on Kolkata Knight Riders multiple captain theory, Tendulkar said: “I don’t know what to say about the multiple captains but multiple suggestions always come to a captain.”

“I am only concerned about Mumbai Indians and don’t have anything to say on this issue.”

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