Although these forts have become places of tourist interest, they still have a special place in the hearts of the people. And they hold a special appeal for adventure-sports seekers. And this is what has inspired those who conceptualised the idea of MPL, which is designed to provide a platform for budding cricketers from the state to show their talent and get paid for their effort.
Nowhere in the country would you encounter such a profusion of forts. And, such variety.
From the invincible Devgiri (it was never conquered), to Raigad, the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji - each one has a unique character. The forts were mini cities as such, and now eight of them have been used as names for the teams who will contest in the state's T20 championship boasting a prize money of Rs 10 lakh. Just a day after the MPL was launched, all eight franchises have been bought up as the sponsors lapped up the idea of associating cricket with a piece of Maharashtra's history. Cadence Cricket Club owned by the MCA president Ajay Shirke will take up the Raigad Royals. Serum Institute has pitched for Shivneri Lions, while Aniruddha Deshpande's Amanora Township has bought up the Torna Tigers. Pune's Sinhgad Supremos is with Jain Irrigation Systems Limited, while Mather & Platt got Panhala Panthers, and the Beyond Corporation India Limited has picked up the Sindhudurg Sailors. The two last teams were sold on Tuesday with Muraspec taking up Devgiri Emperors and House of Laptops settling for Pratapgad Warriors.