The inaugural edition of the Indian Street Premier League (ISPL) kicked off in Mumbai with legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar gracing the event. During the inauguration, the co-owners of the six teams were announced, featuring prominent names from the entertainment industry. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan will manage Kolkata, while Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Suriya, and Ram Charan have been named as the owners of Mumbai, Srinagar, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad, respectively.
Tendulkar, an investor and core committee member of ISPL, emphasized the role of co-owners in shaping the tournament’s success. He highlighted the league’s vision to foster emerging talent through a professional format with a tennis ball.
“The co-owners will play an important part in realizing ISPL’s core vision of encouraging and finding emerging cricketing talent through a professional league format with a tennis ball. I wish them all the best as they embark on this new association with the game!” Tendulkar stated.
Reflecting on his own journey, Tendulkar shared nostalgic moments from his early cricketing days. He recalled how the thought of representing India never crossed his mind while playing street cricket in Mumbai. Despite the absence of aspirations for national representation, his passion for the game and dedication to improvement laid the foundation for his illustrious career.
“The remarkable aspect was that during that time, the thought of playing for India never entered our minds, as season ball cricket was not prevalent. However, playing cricket with a tennis ball, driven by passion and love for the game, paved the way for my journey. Those 24 years of international cricket were truly beautiful, and it all began with a tennis ball,” Tendulkar reminisced.
In addition to Tendulkar, the ISPL committee includes Ashish Shelar, Ravi Shastri, Amol Kale, and Suraj Samat. The inaugural season of ISPL is set to commence with matches scheduled between March 6 and 15 in Mumbai.
The launch of ISPL marks a significant milestone in the promotion of cricket at the grassroots level, providing a platform for aspiring talent to showcase their skills. With Tendulkar’s involvement and the support of the co-owners, ISPL is poised to become a breeding ground for future cricketing stars.