India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar claims the high standards of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has helped cricketers, both in the country and around the world.
The domestic T20 league in India is in its 11th season and is one of the most successful sporting leagues in the world. Top cricketers around the globe come to participate in the competition, but not everyone is lucky to make their way into one of the eight squads.
England Test captain Joe Root went unsold in the IPL 2018 auction in January. The batsman expressed his disappointment after being left out as initially, only eight of the 24 players were bought in the auction.
At the same time, Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan made his name in the IPL, having impressed for Sunrisers Hyderbad in the past. He is still with the same franchise and is one of the standout bowlers in the league.
Tendulkar stressed the level of competitiveness in the IPL is as good as international cricket, which helps foreign players to have the experience of playing in India when they tour the country with the national side.
"IPL is as hard and competitive as international cricket. It has not only helped Indian cricketers, but it has helped all cricketers around the world. So when they come to India, they are not touring for the first time. IPL has given Indian and international cricket a lot," Tendulkar told Hindustan Times at the HT Mint Asia Summit in Singapore on Friday.
The 44-year-old led Mumbai Indians from the front since their debut season until 2013. He has helped several young players develop during his time with the three-time IPL winners.
Meanwhile, Tendulkar has also explained the role of the match officials during the game. He stressed that having former players as umpires make it easier for them to understand the "pressure of the game".
"Umpires have a bigger role to play. Most umpires are former cricketers and they know the pressures of the game. Umpires should be able to control to the game," the former right-handed batsman stressed.