Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has been named as the Commissioner of the Legends League Cricket (LLC), a professional event for retired players likely to begin in January 2022 in the Gulf.
In a release issued by the event’s organisers, Shastri said: “It feels great to remain connected with cricket in the thick of action, especially with the Legends of the game who have been champions in their own rights.”
“It is going to be a lot of fun with some serious cricket going. These stalwarts have nothing new to prove but they have their reputation in line and I can assure you, it will be interesting to see how they do justice to it. I am extremely thrilled to be a part of Legends League Cricket. This is a unique initiative and we see a very bright future ahead,” added 59-year-old Shastri.
Meanwhile, Raman Raheja, co-founder and CEO of the LLC said: “He (Shastri) has been a true legend of Indian and world cricket, bringing glory to India for years.”
“We perhaps couldn’t have (had) a better person to lead our cricket affairs and guide the League in the right direction. We look forward to the exciting days ahead,” he added.
On the other hand Australian physiotherapist Andrew Leipus, who was associated with Team India and also the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, had already joined as the Director (Sports Science) of the league and will monitor the fitness of all the players featuring in the league.
The LLC will feature former cricketers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia and England, among other cricket nations divided into three teams which will be representing India, Asia and Rest of the World (RoW).
Shastri had served as the head coach of the Indian senior team between July 2017 and November 2021. His last assignment was the just concluded T20 World Cup in the UAE where the Men in Blue had failed to enter the semi-finals.
Recently, several reports claimed that the newly inducted Ahmedabad franchise is most likely to rope in Shastri as their head coach for the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as the franchise, which is owned by private equity firm CVC Capitals, had already approached the former India cricketer.
In a recent ineterview, Shastri had also said that he would definitely want to coach a franchise in the cash-rich league.
“If I get the opportunity, I will definitely do it. There are no two ways about that. It will be a great experience. Something I have not tried and I relish challenges. I will go in that direction, for sure,” he said in an interview with NDTV.
“The sporting fraternity, since I left the game and went to broadcasting for 23 years, has opened up that massively, five fingers will not fit, you need ten. But I am good enough with five and it will be everything connected to cricket because whatever I am, it is because of the game and in many ways, the BCCI, because they are the custodians of the sport in India. But the media space is exploding and I think I fit in there.,” he had added.
Significantly under Shastri’s tenure, Team India had made it to the final of the inaugural World Test Championship in England in June this year but went down against New Zealand.
India had earlier reached the 2019 ODI World Cup semis under Shastri.