Ravi Shastri has alluded to the possibility of having two senior Indian cricket teams in the future. The head coach feels that such a system could be ‘the way ahead’ for expanding the T20 format worldwide and taking cricket to the Olympics.
Ravi Shastri’s observation came ahead of India’s tour of England, which includes the World Test Championship final and a 5-Test series against the home team. As Virat Kohli’s men embark on this tour, a junior side of white-ball specialists will tour Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series under the tutelage of Rahul Dravid.
Ravi Shastri clarified that the latter trip is just a temporary measure prompted by the current pandemic situation. However, he agreed that with the volume of talent available in the country, having two different teams is a real prospect.
“Well, you never know. At the moment, it’s happening because of the current situation, the restrictions on travel and things of that sort. But you never know, in the future if you want to expand the game, especially in the shorter formats, it could be the way to go. You know, why not? When you have that much volume of cricketers and if you want to spread the T20 game across the globe then that could be the way ahead,” Ravi Shastri said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
The tour of Sri Lanka will comprise of three ODIs and as many T20Is, beginning on July 13. Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, among many other promising youngsters, are all expected to get a call-up.
You need more countries for the Olympics and two teams could be the way forward: Ravi Shastri
The ICC recently formed an Olympic committee to discuss, in detail, how and when cricket can make its return and continue to be part of the Olympic events. Currently, the 2028 edition of the marquee global event in Los Angeles is being touted as a possibility.
Ravi Shastri argued that cricket will require more teams as early as possible to meet that deadline and that the two-team formula can come in handy.
“If you are talking about the Olympics in four or eight years’ time then you need more countries and it could be the way forward,” Ravi Shastri concluded.
For now, India will clash with Kane Williamson’s New Zealand at Southampton in the summit clash beginning on June 18.