Badrinath: 'Outstation players would've been a boost to TNPL'

Karaikudi Kaalai captain S. Badrinath felt that even though it isn't necessary to have outstation players in the TNPL, their presence would improve the tournament's standard.

Karaikudi Kaalai skipper S. Badrinath at the TNPL draft in Chennai.   -  V. GANESAN

As the franchises slowly come to terms about the unavailability of the outstation players, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is still confident of bringing them on board for the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) making it clear that no outstation players would be allowed to participate in the league, the eight franchises are now going back to the tried and trusted local players. Their strategies had to be changed at the eleventh hour. The team owners, the support staff had to undergo brainstorming sessions on Thursday evening to get the best of the local players from Friday’s draft.

“We had made plans keeping outstation players in mind. But yesterday, we got an email saying that they have been asked to stay away. So, we had to sit together and discuss the plan,” Karaikudi Kaalai captain S. Badrinath told Sportstar.

Out of the 22 players in a squad, 19 have to be local recruits, so, the remaining three spots were reserved for outstation players. But with the situation changing, the franchises had to explore other options. “We had to replace those three slots with local talents. So, we checked on the local talents at the U-19 level, local level to know who all are performing well. A call had to be taken based on the assessments,” Badrinath added.

With the TNPL attaining major success in the inaugural edition last year, Badrinath felt that it is not necessary to have outstation players. But he added that if a few known names come in from other states, the standard of cricket in the TNPL would rise.

“I wouldn’t say that I see the need for outstation players to play, as the tournament is anyway doing pretty well. But if they do come and play, it would help. The pedigree of cricket would improve. The quality and the standard of cricket will improve. It would be a boost to the tournament. The overall level of cricket will go up.”

In the last edition of the tournament, Karaikudi Kaalai finished fifth, and the captain admitted that it was a learning experience for the side. This time, with the schedule looking tighter, the focus is to adjust at the earliest.

“It is a challenge. This is like an IPL in a smaller scale. So, as a captain you face these things. Last year, we faced quite a few challenges as to what went right or wrong. Taking lessons from all that, this time the target was to getting a back-up fast bowler, and we just did that. It is a challenge, you have to adjust to it,” he said.

The presence of outstation players may have added the star quotient to the league, but the franchises are now trying to set up the best teams with the available resources.

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