The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals have deepened their association with the energy drink giant Red Bull in India and plans to continue scouting talent from the annual international T20 tournament for college cricket teams -- Red Bull Campus Cricket.
The tenth year anniversary of the global cricket tournament for university students, Red Bull Campus Cricket (RBCC) has been underway in India across 32 cities with city qualifiers from February 17 to discover and nurture budding cricketers from college campuses.
Last year, the RBCC national finals were held at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow with COVID-19 protocols undertaken. Eight of the best cricket universities in the country faced off to be crowned the Red Bull Campus Cricket National Finals winner.
An exciting final game between DAV College Jalandhar and Subodh College Jaipur, saw DAV College Jalandhar emerge victorious and were crowned the Red Bull Campus Cricket national finals winners.
A recent success story from Red Bull Campus Cricket is Tamil Nadu batsman Shahrukh Khan who was picked up by Punjab Kings for a whopping Rs 5.25 crore at the recently concluded IPL auction.
Shahrukh Khan was the RBCC national final man of the tournament as he guided Hindustan College from Chennai to the finals of the 2019 edition of Red Bull Campus Cricket.
He also got selected for RBCC player tryouts with Rajasthan Royals at Institute of Sports, Talegaon, Nagpur in the first week of December, 2019. He also became a part of the IPL 2020 auction but was unsold but got noticed because of his name.
"I personally wanted to win the tournament for my team but we, unfortunately, lost it. How I saw it was this would be a chance for me, if I did well there, I would have a chance to get picked. Rajasthan Royals had called me for a trial after watching me play at Red Bull Campus Cricket. It was a very good experience for me," said Shahrukh in a statement.
Red Bull Campus Cricket 2021 city qualifiers took place from February 17 to March 15 across various cities. The winning college from each city will then proceed to the zonal/regional finals in April. The top two teams from each zone in RBCC will then compete in the National finals in June first week, where the teams will play in the knockout rounds of quarterfinals, semifinals and finals respectively.
The National winner will then represent India in the RBCC 2021 World Finals. Past winners from India that have gone on to represent the country at the World Championships are Rizvi College, Mumbai; DAV College, Chandigarh; Swami Shraddhanand College, Delhi; MMC College, Pune.
KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Lungi Ngidi, Niroshan Dickwella, and Chirag Suri are six players who went on to make their names in international cricket for their respective countries by using the Red Bull Campus Cricket platform.
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. Cricketers like Manan Vohra, Shardul Thakur, Karun Nair, Shashank Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Himanshu Rana, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Anukul Roy, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Ricky Bhui have also reaped the benefits of Red Bull Campus Cricket.
The women's competition will be held in four zones -- north, south, east and west -- with the winners of the zonal editions going on to play in the national finals. The winner of the national final will be declared the best women's college cricket team in India. A few players participating in the women's championship will also get an opportunity to interact with Smriti Mandhana.