Pune: Maharashtra Premier League 2024 Kicks Off Today

Pune: Maharashtra Premier League 2024 Kicks Off Today

Pune: Maharashtra Premier League 2024 Kicks Off Today

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The defending champions meet last year’s finalists in mega clash

Pune, June 1, 2024: The defending champions Ratnagiri Jets will face last year’s finalists Kolhapur Tuskers in the opening match of the Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) 2024 at the MCA International Stadium here on Sunday, June 2.

“This league is a great platform for budding cricketers from Maharashtra’s remote areas and small towns to showcase their talent. We discovered many new talents last year, and we are hopeful that this season will unearth more players, who will eventually play in the IPL and represent India,” Rohit Pawar, MCA president, said.

“The entry is free for all spectators, so I am sure that fans will gather in large numbers for all the games,” Pawar added.

“Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) is a T20 league organised by the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA)under the aegis of BCCI. The MCA has done an incredible job to get the league underway soon after IPL’s conclusion with special permission from the BCCI,” MCA secretary advocate Kalmesh Pisal said.

“The event will commence with an opening ceremony at 6 pm, featuring dance performances by Mouni Roy and a live performance of the superhit song “Gulabi Sadi” by Sanju Rathod,” he added.

The Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) 2024 promises an exciting season of cricket, bringing together seasoned players and fresh talent in a competitive and entertaining format. Cricket lovers are encouraged to join the festivities and support their favourite teams.

Ratnagiri vs Kolhapur: A Riveting Opener

The opening match will see the defending champions Ratnagiri Jets, led by Azim Kazi, take on PBG Kolhapur Tuskers, led by India international Kedar Jadhav.

Ratnagiri and Kolhapur faced each other thrice in MPL 2023 including the final and they are tied 1-1. In the league stage, Maharashtra stalwart Ankit Bawne had scored a blazing century to take Kolhapur home. In the Qualifier 1, despite Kedar Jadhav’s half-century, Ratnagiri had triumphed.

Ratnagiri Jets were declared winners of MPL 2023 in a rain-marred final, which had to be abandoned. However, the Jets’ consistency did make them a worthy champion.

Ratnagiri don’t have big names on the roster but the team effort took them all the way. They were marshalled superbly by Azim Kazi. Their bowling attack spearheaded by Pradeep Dadhe, Nikit Dhumal, Divyang Hingnekar and Vijay Pawale proved too hot to handle for the opposition. In batting, Dhiraj Phatangare, Kiran Chormale, Nikhil Naik and the late-hitting ability of Hingnekar took them over the line more often than most. 

This season, Ratnagiri has managed to retain the majority of their squad. Maharashtra Ranji player and left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav for a base price of Rs 60,000 is a notable inclusion.

“We have retained our core and have added the experience of Satyajeet Bachhav to our side. This year the number of matches has doubled, so his experience will come in handy,” Azim Kazi, skipper of Ratnagiri Jets said before adding, “We had a great preparatory camp and everyone is in great spirits. We are keen to defend our title.”

On the other hand, Kolhapur has released last season’s most expensive buy, Naushad Shaikh. However, they have made valuable additions like all-rounder Shrikant Mundhe, 25-year-old wicketkeeper batter Aniket Porwal and left-arm spinner Yash Khaladkar.

Led by India international Kedar Jadhav, Kolhapur has the likes of Ankit Bawne, India U-19 Sachin Dhas, Siddharth Mhatre and Taranjeet Singh Dhillon in their ranks.

The opening match between the defending champions and the finalists surely sets the tempo for another pulsating season of the Maharashtra Premier League.