The Royal Challengers Bangalore have taken a different path in dealing with their additional players.
While most of the franchisees have sent their surplus talent home, the Royal Challengers have stationed as many as eleven men in Pretoria.
“We didn’t send them back for it would have denied them the exposure and experience that would have helped shape their careers. All these boys are in the age bracket of 19 to 24 and they would have been hugely disappointed if they were sent back,” said RCB CEO Brijesh Patel.
“Then, we can always call them to join the main team as and when the need arises,” he added.
But would they be in right shape and frame of mind as they aren’t training and travelling with the team? “Obviously, they would be. They are training regularly and playing matches with the local teams. So, they’d be match fit and ready to go as and when they are called up,” Patel said.
He said RCB would ensure that the youngsters don’t miss out on the action even if they don’t make it to the team. “We are planning to have three of them at a time in the dugout during our Durban games to give them the feel of the real action,” Patel said.
Wasn’t it tough to retain the entire squad in South Africa, especially when others teams are sending players back?
“We have an eye on long-term profits, not short-term losses. With these youngsters gaining the experience and exposure, it’s going to help the franchisees only in the long term.
“So, the decision to retain them was an easy one to make,” he said, adding it would also keep the squad in high spirits.