As critics question Mumbai's depth in domestic cricket after the 40-time Ranji Trophy champions' shock defeat to Jammu and Kashmir in the season opener recently, former India and Mumbai captain Dilip Vengsarkar felt it’s time to resurrect the dying club culture in the city.
Dilip Vengsarkar flips through 'Guts and Glory' at the Mumbai Press Club yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande.
“The only place where a youngster gets a chance to play alongside senior, experienced cricketers and learn something from them is club cricket. But gone are those days. I think the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) should revive the Kanga League that would help players know how to play on soft wickets,” said Vengsarkar after releasing ‘Guts and Glory’, a book by journalist Makarand Waingankar yesterday.
Vengsarkar said that though the Twenty20 format has brought in money at different levels, budding cricketers should not be encouraged to it. “Players below the age of 15 should not play T20 cricket as they will develop bad habits,” he said.
Reacting to Mumbai’s Ranji defeat, former Mumbai captain and current selector Milind Rege said: “A loss is not acceptable, but we need to be patient. We will have a team in order in the next couple of years.”
The anecdotal book features 26 Indian cricketers including former captains Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Vengsarkar, Sachin Tendulkar and present stars Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli.