Little Champs in UAE pay tribute to Little Master in IPL season Filed on April 12, 2021
Gopal Jasapara (left) and Shyam Bhatia with a bat signed by Sunil Gavaskar. (Supplied photo)

The T25 tournament got off to a rousing start on April 9 – the same day when the IPL started in Chennai

Perhaps, expecting teenagers now to learn from Sunil Gavaskar on the art of batting is akin to expecting Glenn Maxwell to offer a straight bat like the Indian maestro.

It’s hard to find players of Gavaskar’s ilk now in modern cricket which has been dominated by the T20s – a format in which inventive, unorthodox shots help cricketers attain rock star status.

But the examples set by Gavaskar in terms of possessing a classical technique will never go out of fashion.

It was 50 years ago that Gavaskar made his international debut, scoring 774 runs in four Tests to script India’s first ever Test series win in the West Indies.

Now as a tribute to India’s original Little Master and to inspire young cricketers to marry classical technique with sumptuous stroke-play, Dubai’s G Force Cricket Academy has organised a tournament – Little Champ Cricket League – for junior cricketers.

The T25 tournament got off to a rousing start on April 9 – the same day when the Indian Premier League (IPL) started in Chennai.

“We are dedicating our tournament to Sunny (Gavaskar) Sir who had just celebrated 50 years of his international debut. We want to inspire our young cricketers in the UAE to play good cricket. And since these young kids are all IPL fans, our tournament is running parallelly with the IPL and our final will also be played on May 30,” Gopal Jasapara, the head coach at the G Force Academy, told Khaleej Times.

“We have 28 teams in four different age group categories and nine leading cricket academies are participating in this competition,” Jasapara added.

The tournament, backed by the Shyam Bhatia Cricket for Care, is being played in Dubai and Sharjah.

“We are very happy with the response from youngsters. We hope good cricketers will emerge from this tournament,” said Jasapara.

“You know we even received a message of support from Sunny Sir on WhatsApp after we had informed him about our tournament. Sunny Sir hoped that a team of little champs would emerge from the tournament. His message is a huge encouragement for us and our young players.”


Rituraj Borkakoty

A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.

ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /sport/cricket/little-champs-in-uae-pay-tribute-to-little-master-in-ipl-season macro_action: article, macro_profile: ,1051,1049 macro_adspot:
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery