Dravid lends weight to varsity cricket

Way back in the 1980s, Bollywood Badshah Shahrukh Khan had stood third in a two-mile run at the National Stadium in Delhi. That feat got him a mention in a local daily.

Despite having carved a niche for himself, and having dominated the front pages of almost every national and international daily, the first newspaper clipping mentioning his exploit on the track still remains very special for the Bollywood icon.

"I still have the newspaper cutting with me. It was special for me then and it still holds a special place in my heart," said Shahrukh while launching the Toyota University Cricket Championship at the Cricket Club of India on Saturday.

The co-owner of the IPL franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders, hoped the event conceptualised for university students will motivate them in the same way it had inspired him in the past.

The T20 championship began under floodlights at the Brabourne Stadium with hosts Western Wolves (Mumbai University) taking on Northern Stars (Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi).

A total of eight teams, the top eight finishers in the recently-ended All-India Inter-Zonal Inter-University Cricket Tournament for the Rohinton Baria Trophy, will compete in this championship that will be played till March 10.

Former India skipper Rahul Dravid hoped it would help revive cricket at the university level, which he felt was on the wane across the country. "It will make a huge difference. The Rohinton Baria Trophy used to be one of the most high profile cricket tournaments in the country. I hope this championship will help revive cricket once again at the varsity level," Dravid said.

Teams: Northern Stallions (Aligarh Muslim University),

Northern Stars (Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi)

Eastern Eagles (VBS Purvanchal University, Jaunpur), Eastern Tigers (APS University, Rewa), Western Wolves (Mumbai University), Western Wizards (Jiwaji University, Gwalior), Southern Champs (Jain University, Bangalore), Southern Sharks (University of Madras, Chennai)


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