Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar set the hearts of millions and millions of his fans racing when it was revealed that he would be returning to action again from March 2nd in Raipur as he leads the India Legends side in the Unacademy Road Safety World Series. The tournament which was put on hold last year for the Covid-19 pandemic is returning this year to complete its schedule.
What Is The Road Safety World Series?
The brainchild of Raju Gaikwad, a senior member of the Maharashtra Road Safety Cell. The tournament was created to raise awareness on road safety in the country. The tournament was approved by the BCCI. The inaugural edition was scheduled to be held from 7th March, 2020 to March 22nd, 2020. Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was roped in to serve as the commissioner for the tournament. Sachin Tendulkar serves as the brand ambassador for it.
Format, Team, And The Players
Played in the format of Twenty20 cricket. The tournament plays hosts to five teams from five different countries made up of legends and former players from that country. The five countries are respectively India, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa. It was decided that all the teams would play in a round-robin format with the top two teams finishing with the most points would play in the final.
The five teams boast of many legends, with Sachin Tendulkar, Tilakaratne Dilshan; Jonty Rhodes, Brett Lee, and Brian Lara captaining India Legends, Sri Lanka Legends, South Africa Legends; Australian Legends, and West Indies Legends. A host of other former players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan; Herschelle Gibbs, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, all returning to the fore.
Road Safety World Series Schedule And Venue
The initial tournament had started on March 7th, 2020 and four matches were played. However, following the issuing of a Government of India advisory on the Covid-19 situation. The tournament organizers decided to put the tournament on hold indefinitely reversing their earlier decision of holding the remaining matches behind closed doors in Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium.
Now, with the pandemic situation improving, organizers have announced that the tournament will be concluded with the 7 remaining matches (6 in the round-robin league and 1 final) scheduled to be held from 2nd March 2021 to 21st March 2021. As per the venue, there has been a change from Maharashtra to Chhattisgarh. All the remaining matches will be held in the newly-constructed 65,000 seaters Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.
The move has been welcomed by the Chhattisgarh government, with the Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel elated by this decision. He had this to say in a media statement regarding the return of Sachin and the Unacademy Road Safety World Series:
“It is a matter of great pride and honor to be hosting the legends in Raipur during the RSW Series. I believe is a wonderful concept to create awareness about the menace. It is a very important one given that one person dies every four minutes on Indian roads. I also believe that this tournament will bring smiles to millions in this hour of gloom. I extend a very warm welcome to everyone in Chhattisgarh!”
RSWS Broadcast Patners
Raju Gaikwad, the founder of the tournament also issued a statement. He said: “To spread awareness towards road safety. The Unacademy Road Safety World Series started with a lot of hope and promise last year. But had to call it off due to the challenging times. But, I am extremely glad to announce that we are here again. I am thankful to all, the players, the officials, our broadcast partners, and our large workforce who have come together to take the initiative forward in these difficult times.”
Reaction To Sachin’s Return
As soon as the news broke, Twitter and other social media platforms exploded in expectation of Sachin’s return. The topic was immediately trending and many fans have claimed that this so far is the best news to come out of 2021. Fans are eagerly waiting for the return of the Little Master along with the other stars gracing this event.
Despite having a friendly feel to it, expect the matches to be competitive as seen evidently in the first four matches held last year. So far, India leads the group stage with 2 wins out of 2, and Sachin Tendulkar would be looking to lead his side to the finals to win the first edition of the tournament.