Mumbai won two white-ball tournaments in three years because of T20 Mumbai: Tushar Deshpande

Fast bowler says the league has given Mumbai a platform for white-ball cricket.

Fast bowler Tushar Deshpande believes that the T20 Mumbai league has made a “huge difference” not just to his own career, but also in taking Mumbai cricket forward.

Deshpande, who has played for the league’s ARCS Andheri franchise for two seasons, added that because of the platform provided by the T20 Mumbai league, Mumbai had started doing well in national white-ball cricket. Deshpande also went on to play for Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League in 2020.

“I would say it has made a huge difference to Mumbai cricket and my career as well,” Tushar Deshpande told SportsAdda. “Before its inception, we had not won the domestic ODI and T20 leagues in the last 10 years.

“But after T20 Mumbai, we won the Vijay Hazare Trophy. In 2019, we were in the Super League (of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy) and this year we won the Vijay Hazare (again).”

Mumbai won the one-day Vijay Hazare Trophy right after the inaugural edition of the T20 Mumbai league in 2018-19 and were victorious again in 2020-21. In 2019-20, they made the quarter-finals but were denied because of rain.

They also made the Super League stage of the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2018-19 and 2019-20, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the final.

“In a span of three years, we won two white-ball tournaments, all this is because of T20 Mumbai since it gave us the infrastructure for white-ball tournaments,” Deshpande said. “Prior to that, there was not any cricket apart from first-class.”

Aditya Tare, the veteran wicketkeeper and former Mumbai captain, had also said earlier that lack of exposure to local white-ball cricket was the reason Mumbai had not done well in the past in national limited-overs tournaments. Aditya Tare was the captain of Eagle Thane Strikers in the second season of T20 Mumbai.

Tushar Deshpande credited the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for giving its players the stage to grow with the T20 Mumbai league.

“It (T20 Mumbai) has played a huge role in shaping Mumbai cricket and is a huge platform laid down by the MCA. It is investing in players and the results are there. You will find a lot of young cricketers coming out of the tournament and doing well for Mumbai at various levels.”

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