The Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals has joined hands with the energy drink giant Red Bull in India for the eighth edition of the annual international T20 tournament for college cricket teams – Red Bull Campus Cricket. The cricket tournament has already kicked off in India across 30 cities with city qualifiers having begun on February 3 to discover and nurture budding cricketers from college campuses.
The unique partnership between Rajasthan Royals and Red Bull will mark the beginning of one of India’s biggest cricket talent hunts as the former will be scouting young talent during the tournament and at the RBCC National Final this year.
A team from Rajasthan Royals will closely monitor and pick key players who are bound to impress. The few selected players will get a spectacular opportunity to be a part of the trials conducted by the team along with the possibility of getting picked in the next IPL auctions.
Red Bull Campus Cricket 2019 city qualifiers are taking place from February 2 and will conclude on March 12 across 30 cities in India – Mumbai, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Indore, Pune, Nagpur and Goa in the West; Jalandhar, Dehradun, Delhi, Jaipur, Jammu, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Meerut and Dharamshala in the North; Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kochi, Mysore and Vizag in South; and Kolkata, Raipur, Guwahati, Ranchi, Bhubaneshwar, Patna and Jamshedpur in the East. Meerut and Dharamshala are two new cities that have been added for this edition and will be part of the North Zone.
“Rajasthan Royals is delighted to be associated with Red Bull Campus Cricket. It is undoubtedly a premier cricket tournament giving a platform to the budding cricketers in India and around the world. We have seen immense cricket potential in India through our grassroots initiatives and we want to do everything we can to nurture this ecosystem,” said Manoj Badale, Lead Owner, Rajasthan Royals.
Shubham Nagawde, part of MMC College Pune, the National Final winner of last year’s competition added, “Red Bull Campus Cricket is a way to discover raw talents while testing them in different matches at the national level and finally pitching them into international games to polish these talented individuals and bringing the best out of them. It has been a proud moment for me to have had experienced this and I would like to thank Red Bull for giving us the much-needed wings. Now, with Rajasthan Royals coming on board, Red Bull Campus Cricket is a platform offering potential player trials to campus cricketers like me and groom India’s raw talent which will eventually help Indian Cricket.”
The winning college from each city will proceed to the zonal/regional finals in April. The top two teams from each zone will then compete in the National Finals, where the teams will play in the knockout rounds of quarterfinals, semifinals and finals respectively. The national winner will represent India in the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Series Championship 2019. MMC College from Pune has managed to grab the winning national finals title thrice over the past seven years and have also claimed the runners up trophy in the last world finals edition. Other past winners from India include Rizvi College, Mumbai; DAV College, Chandigarh and Swami Shraddhanand College, Delhi.
Red Bull Campus Cricket stars like KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Shradul Thakur and Niroshan Dickwella have represented their country at the international level. Cricketers like Manan Vohra, Shashank Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Himanshu Rana, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Anukul Roy, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ricky Bhui have also reaped the benefits of Red Bull Campus Cricket by earning IPL contracts. Red Bull athlete KL Rahul was the top scorer in the 2013 edition of the competition and credits RBCC for his success at the domestic and international level.