| Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the crease during an IPL match against the Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, Calcutta. The Gaya Premier League could throw up more hard-hitters like the CSK skipper |
Cricketers from Gaya, other parts of Bihar and Jharkhand are getting ready to wield the willow at the Gaya Premier League (GPL), based on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The city-based Young Boys’ Cricket Association (YBCA) would organise the tournament. The winning team would receive a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, while the runner-up would get Rs 50,000.
Before the tournament starts on November 14, trial camps would be held in Gaya, Patna and Ranchi in October. On the pattern of IPL, some leading businessmen have evinced interest in sponsoring the teams. The cricketers selected by the team owners would get monetary benefit.
Altogether 120 cricketers, including 64 from Gaya, 40 from other parts of Bihar and 16 from Jharkhand, would be selected to take part in the tournament.
The selected cricketers would be imparted a 15-day training under the supervision of experts.
Eight teams would participate in the tournament with six players from Gaya in the Playing XI being mandatory. Four from other parts of Bihar and one from Jharkhand would also be in the Playing XI.
All matches of the tournament would be played at Harihar Subrahmanian Stadium, Gandhi Maidan.
Akhilesh Singh, the tournament’s organising committee secretary, said: “This is the first time that such a tournament is being organised in the Magadh region. The tournament has been named after Abhishek, a deputy commandant of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Gaya, who was killed in a bomb explosion in Mount Abu.”
Rajesh Kumar, the organising committee convener, said: “Several reputable cricketers and selectors from Bihar and Jharkhand would be invited to watch the matches. It would be an opportunity for new cricketers to display their talent and attract selectors for a better chance in the future district- and the state-level tournaments.”
Naushad Alam, the former secretary of Gaya District Cricket Association (GDCA), said it was a good initiative. “It would boost sports activities in Gaya and adjoining areas. So far, cricketers from Bihar are yet to make their presence felt in Team India neither in Test or One-Day Internationals or even in IPL. Such tournaments would also create opportunity for promising cricketers to secure a berth in domestic or international tournaments.”
Mangal Mehraur, a former captain of Bihar cricket team who has got a job in the Indian Railways’ sports quota, said such tournaments would create job opportunities for new cricketers.
“Not only there are jobs in sports quota in the government sector but private sectors too pick good sportspersons,” he said.
Another young and promising cricketer of Gaya, Subhash Kumar, who has represented Gaya in Under-16 tournaments, said cricketers from Bihar too would get an opportunity to play in the IPL or other national and international tournaments.