Sunil Gavaskar: Club cricket is lifeblood for Test team
But after that if you wanted to impress the Mumbai selection committee, these were the three tournaments you wanted to do well in the Times Shield would happen later by which the Ranji season would have started," he said
Legendary Indian batsman and Mumbai stalwart Sunil Gavaskar reinforced the importance of club culture as it has played a massive role in the development of city's cricketers to break into the international scene. Gavaskar, who showed exemplary commitment for Dadar Union Sporting Club during his playing days, was delighted to be present as chief guest on the 71st Police Shield prize distribution ceremony at Police Gymkhana yesterday.
Addressing the winning team Parkophene Cricketers and runners-up Payyade Sports Club, Gavaskar said: "I am always happy to be present for such events because I believe club cricket is the lifeblood of your Test team. Without club cricket, you will not get players who will play Ranji Trophy and then go on to play Test cricket or one-day internationals. Therefore, club cricket becomes very important."
Gavaskar highlighted the city's rich cricketing ethos. "Mumbai's cricketing culture is something unique. It's a culture which teaches you not to give up. It tells you not to be satisfied with what you have achieved, whether it's a five-wicket haul or a century. You have to carry on, you have to go on and break down doors, so that you get higher recognition," the former India captain said.
Gavaskar recalled how tournaments like Purshottam Shield, Talim Shield and Police Shield, apart from the Dr HD Kanga Cricket League, were crucial in breaking into the Mumbai team. "Growing up, there were three tournaments which we would look forward to — Purshottam Shield, Talim Shield and the Police Shield. Yes, there was the Kanga League. But after that if you wanted to impress the Mumbai selection committee, these were the three tournaments you wanted to do well in the Times Shield would happen later by which the Ranji season would have started," he said.
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