Surat, Dec 9 (IANS) Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh feels cricketers in India are "fortunate" enough to have access to many opportunities in the country but for players from other nations who don't have regular jobs, a platform like Legends League Cricket (LLC) presents them with a great opportunity to earn their livelihood.
Harbhajan Singh (Manipal Tigers) and Suresh Raina (Urbanrisers Hyderabad) will lock horns with each other in the finals of LLC 2023 on Saturday in Surat. Replying to a query from IANS during the pre-match press conference, Harbhajan spoke in detail about playing cricket and post-retirement.
"Playing has always been an important aspect of my life. When I took retirement, I thought that I'd played enough, and now it's time to give a chance to youngsters. And when after retirement, an opportunity like this comes where you get to play competitive cricket, it is worth trying for," said Harbhajan.
"No one judges us but yes expectations are the same from us. We are fortunate to be born in India, where we have so many opportunities, players who don't have a job like some from New Zealand and West Indies, LLC is a big thing for them," the spinner pointed while replying to a query from IANS.
The World Winning spinner shared a small anecdote about a player from Manipal Tigers, highlighting how some players have to struggle a lot after taking retirement from cricket.
"One good thing which has happened is that players whose career gets over early and they don't get to play more are now getting a chance to extend their careers. There is a player in our squad from New Zealand, whose job is to cut grass in the Golf Club," said Harbhajan.
"This is a great opportunity for most of them, who are not as privileged as we are to come here and make some money and to run their livelihood. So it is a big opportunity," he added.
Expressing a similar sentiment, former Indian cricketer and IPL legend Suresh Raina while replying to a query from IANS said, "Not everyone gets a chance to play in IPL or Indian team. So it forms a platform where players can showcase their skills to their fans and it becomes a great opportunity for players to play competitive cricket."
Both captains spoke about what it means to the team to be a part of the Legends League Cricket in their first season and reach the finals as they have multiple times, even as teammates in the Indian Cricket team and also with their respective teams in other leagues.
"We enjoy playing cricket more than doing commentary. So it is a good opportunity for us. I have got a huge respect for Raina for his cricketing abilities, he has achieved a lot on the field. He has been a pillar of strength for CSK and has won many trophies for them. We lifted the World Cup together and tomorrow it will be a cracking final," said Harbhajan.
The finals will be played on Saturday at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium, Surat between Manipal Tigers and Urbanrisers Hyderabad. They will feature some of the biggest names of national and international cricket including Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina, Martin Guptill, Md Kaif, Praveen Kumar.
“We thank everyone who has watched, supported and enjoyed the Legends League Cricket. The people of every city have welcomed our league and come out to the stadiums in huge numbers to watch their favourite cricketers and legends of the cricketing world. We are looking forward to the finals in the sold out Lalbhai Contractor Stadium on Saturday.” said Raman Raheja, CEO, Legends League Cricket.
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