India Maharajas vs World Giants: Cricket legends descend in Kolkata, aim to turn back clock in Legends League Cricket

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India Maharajas vs World Giants: Cricket legends descend in Kolkata, aim to turn back clock in Legends League Cricket
India Maharajas vs World Giants: Cricket legends descend in Kolkata, aim to turn back clock in Legends League Cricket

India Maharajas vs World Giants: Cricket legends descend in Kolkata, aim to turn back clock in Legends League Cricket

India Maharajas vs World Giants: The Legends League Cricket (LLC) carnival is all set to take off in Kolkata from September 16 as cricketing legends descended in the City of Joy on Thursday.

The eagerly anticipated Indian league season will begin on September 16 in Kolkata with a special benefit game between India Maharajas and Team World Giants. In a press conference with the media on Thursday in Kolkata, former Sri Lankan spin-wizard Muralitharan, who will be playing for Manipal Tigers, stated that he would like to turn back time when he plays for his club.

“After a long time, we are going to play and the feeling of coming back to a tournament is pulsating for us. As former cricketers, we miss cricket and miss the feeling of playing amidst the hooting and cheering. I hope it becomes an annual event for everyone so that the younger lot not only enjoys watching contemporary cricketers. But also gets to watch the former cricketers and legends entertain them,” the once-dreaded off-spinner said.

The league will compete in 16 matches, including the charity game, with 90 of cricket’s greatest players in attendance.

Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Muttiah Muralitharan, Jacques Kallis, Chris Gayle, and Brett Lee are just a few of the big names who will grace the event with their participation.

Age is simply a number, for former Indian sprinter S Sreesanth, who turned 39 earlier this year. Sreesanth will play for LNJ Bhilwara Kings.

“Age is just a number for me. It feels good to be a part of the Legends League. Giving such opportunities to players like us is a commendable effort made by Legends League Cricket. It is great to be back in the circle. It feels like Kolkata’s Eden Garden was waiting for us to come back. I am really excited to be part of the league and be back in the game; not just that, I am grateful that we have such a wonderful team here, explained the two times World Cup-winning cricketer.

The Khushii Foundation, which supports girl child education, will receive the benefit match’s net revenues. This foundation is founded by Kapil Dev.

The other two teams in the four-team competition are the Manipal Tigers and the Bhilwara Kings.

Daniel Vettori, a former left-arm spinner for New Zealand, couldn’t hold back his joy either.

“We have come together after a long time. I think some cricketers will have opportunities to get together and remember us. We will try to put on a good show and feel the heat of our comeback. We will try to perform together and that I feel is more important than anything else,” Vettori said.

Liam Plunkett, a member of the India Capitals who represented England in the 2016 T20 World Cup final played at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, is excited to take part in this cricket extravaganza. “All of us are excited to be part of this setup. Some of my idols are going to be part of Legends League Cricket. And I am looking forward to it,” Plunkett said.

On September 17, when the league season gets underway at Eden Gardens with the Gujarat Giants taking on Gautam Gambhir’s India Capitals, Sehwag will be back in action.

The league would be the first of its type in India and will only include female umpires.

Vivek Khushalani, Founder & Chairman, Legends League Cricket, said:

“We are dedicating tomorrow’s game to 75 years of India’s independence ‘Azaadi ka Mahotsav’ and to girl child education and women empowerment. We have an all-women umpiring team and match officials. This is probably the first time in the history of cricket that we will be having only women match officials. And also all of them are ICC-empanelled,” Khushalani said.

The league’s co-founder and CEO, Raman Raheja, expressed his pride at the ability of Legends League Cricket to bring together 90 of cricket’s greatest players in Kolkata at one time.

“It is for the first time that about 90 cricketing legends have come to Kolkata. In the history of cricket, you would not have seen so many legends coming to one single city. Kolkata may have hosted the World Cup, IPL and all other big-ticket matches but bringing 90 legends together in one single city at one point in time is a first,” he said.

“Kolkata is the home of Indian cricket. So it was a privilege for us to start the league in India here and dedicate it to 75 years of India’s independence. Another important part is that our 90 legends have pledged their support to girl child education and women empowerment,” Raheja said.

The CEO also added that the first edition of Legends League Cricket was the most-watched event after IPL. “The first edition of the league held in Oman was the most watched league after IPL in terms of viewership and reach. So we expect the number to grow in our bid to promote cricket,” said Raheja.

Vivek Khushalani also informed that the league will add two more teams from next season onwards. “This is just the start. Next year, we will add two more franchises. So in 2023, we will have six franchises playing in the tournament. But it will never go beyond six,” he said.