Mumbai: Actor Suniel Shetty believes sports is important to instill confidence in children.

Suniel, who is the captain of the Mumbai Heroes cricket team in the Celebrity Cricket League, attended the first season of "Box Bowl Out X" underarm cricket series organised by Zeeshan Siddique here on Saturday.

"I think a sport is the only thing which instils confidence in children. If you see, the real hero in schools is someone who is related to a sport. I think when you play a sport, you are treated like a hero. So, it's very important to encourage sports in our country," the actor said.

"If you see ‘Khelo India' campaign, we are making an effort to bring talent from smaller cities and villages. Emergence of M.S. Dhoni has proven to the world that if you have talent, then you can perform on any platform. These are the platforms where you can find new talent. It's an amazing league," he added.

Talking about the first season of "Box Bowl Out X" underarm cricket series, he said: "It reminded me of my childhood days. I never imagined there would be a competition of this level because when you visit sports countries like New Zealand and Australia where you see their grounds and their kids playing in uniforms, it feels amazing.

"So I think Zeeshan managed something that is unreal. Seeing the kind of teams and number of enthusiasts here, I think it's unbelievable."

Suniel, who did a film titled "Annarth" with former cricketer Vinod Kambli, said: "It's a difficult format (underarm) to play. I remember when I did a film with Vinod Kambli, that time I used to bowl him out in each lunch break while playing underarm cricket.

"You are not easily able to understand the pace and movement of the ball in underarm cricket because bowlers bowl here with small run-ups and they manage to spin the ball either way so, I think underarm cricket has given birth to some of the finest players..."