LLC is an opportunity for yesteryear cricketers to come together: Pragyan Ojha

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 Former Indian attacking slow left arm orthodox bowler and left-handed tail-ender batsman Pragyan Ojha feels that the Legends League Cricket (LLC) is a great opportunity for yesteryear cricketers to come together not only as professionals but also out of the love they have for the sport.

Ojha is part of former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina led Urbanrisers Hyderabad.

Jammu to have a glimpse of international cricketers live on field nearly after 38 years as four matches of Legends League Cricket are scheduled here at Maulana Azad Stadium.

In a telephonic conversation with UNI, Ojha, when asked about LLC as a platform for former International cricketers, he replied, “I think it is a great opportunity for everyone. All the yesteryear cricketers come together and it is more of love for the sport and as a profession.”

“This platform (LLC) gives us an opportunity to come together as great friends and dressing room experiences we are getting back with each other that everyone really really loving it,” the cricketer replied.

On playing in Jammu, Ojha said, “though I have been to Jammu previously only with the family but never to play cricket. I am really looking forward to playing in Jammu.”

On prevailing climatic conditions (cold weather in Jammu), Ojha said, “when you go to extreme conditions, you need to keep yourself warm, need to practice a little to get acclimatized for the weather.”

When asked whether team India needs a left arm orthodox spinner like him, Ojha replies with a smile, “I think we have got a great guy Ravindra Jadeja and Akshar Patel is also there. Both have done really well and Jaddu being a senior pro and Akshar everytime got the opportunity to deliver.”

“I think the team is good and I feel that we have to look for a good spinner after R Ashwin. I am talking about Red Ball cricket. I think in White Ball game, we have Washington Sundar but in the Red Ball cricket, we need someone who can deliver like R Ashwin over the years,” said Ojha.

On new generation cricketers, who are more inclined towards the IPL cricket format, Ojha replied, “when we talk about three formats, it is bound to happen. Improvisation and adapting to new formats and situations will always happen.”

“To be successful in T20 or White Ball cricket, you have to strengthen your basics and that you can put right only by playing with the red Ball Cricket,” the former spinner advised.

“First time as a youngster, you need to have that control and grip on the Red Ball Cricket and then you can also improvise with the Red Ball cricket,” he said.

Meanwhile on a decision of hosting the LLC in Jammu, Co-Founder and CEO, Legends League Cricket, Raman Raheja in a separate conversation said, “It’s been almost 38 to 40 years, no International matches are organised in Jammu. And, we wanted to take LLC in the smaller towns and Jammu really ranked the highest amongst the cities identified.”

“So, we worked with the authorities and made it happen. And, not only this time but in the future also, we will bring more international cricket to Jammu,” Raheja said.

On climatic conditions, he replied, “these cricketers (LLC) are legends and not the young boys. They have played cricket around the World, so they are adaptable to all weather conditions,” he said adding, “they visited the ground, checked the wicket and the pitch and depending on ground conditions, they have made up their minds on what kind of team set up, composition they have to go with.”

“No special training but the strategy they are going to adopt will be city centric,” Raheja replied.

In a message to the Jammu crowd, he said, “fans just have to book their tickets and enjoy the good cricket because this is not normal cricket but 120 International Legends for the first time in the history of Jammu are here. Fans just have to enjoy the wonderful cricket for the rest of the five days.”

Notably, on November 29, Irfan Pathan captained Bhilwara Kings will take on Southern Super Stars and players like Yusuf Pathan, Shane Watson, Tillakaratne Dilshan will be on field, on November 30, Gautam Gambhir led India Capitals will face Parthiv Patel led Gujarat Giants and will see stalwarts like Chris Gayle, S Sreesanth, Hashim Amla, Kevin Pietersen, Munaf Patel and Abhimantyu Mithun.

The last match will be played on December 1 at 3 pm between Irfan Pathan led Bhilwara Kings and Suresh Raina led Urban Risers Hyderabad.

This year’s LLC season is being played across five cities in India including Jammu, Ranchi, Dehradun, Vizag and Surat.

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