Ever since the Corporate Tournament kicked off, there were debates over its significance. But ask the cricketers participating in the tournament, and they are unanimous in agreeing that it is a good initiative by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
India Cement's Hemang Badani says: “There weren't many jobs in the last few years but I believe the tournament will bring better opportunities.”
And that could well be the case, as new corporate organisations have already started working on building their teams for the forthcoming seasons. Reliance and DLF are the two companies currently working towards that end.
Reliance have already roped in many players and are holding a camp in Baroda till September 6. Most of Reliance's recruits are from the Mumbai Indians — their IPL team. DLF, too, are talking with some big players for setting up their team.
With the two series coming up — the Sri Lanka tour and the Champions Trophy, the international players are using this tournament to get back into the match atmosphere after the break.
“The tournament has been planned at a good time, it is a great way to prepare after a break” said Ishant Sharma, who is employed with ONGC.
Ajay Ratra, who keeps wickets for ONGC, said: “This is a one stop team where players from different stats come together to play as employees. The organisation has always been a big support for me.
“Though we always play for the ONGC in tournaments like the Hot Weather or the KSCA tournament, this is much bigger.” Abid Khan, who plays for Indian Tobacco Company (ITC), shared Ratra's views.
“ITC supported me when I was just starting my career and that's when I first realised that I have got something from cricket.”