TN to have a new skipper for T20 team

"We are looking at a younger captain who can guide the side for many years to come," says S. Sharath, the State selection committee chief.

R. Sathish... set to be replaced as skipper of the Tamil Nadu Twenty20 team.   -  K. Pichumani

Tamil Nadu will have a new captain for its Twenty20 team that will take part in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. In the previous edition of the competition, the 35-year-old R. Sathish, a hard-hitting batsman who can send down useful seamers, led the State side.

The South Zone leg of the competition will be held here from January 29 to February 3. The Tamil Nadu team will be picked on January 13.

The State selection panel chief, S. Sharath, told Sportstar on Tuesday, “While we respect Sathish’s contribution to the State team, we have to think about the future also. We are looking at a younger captain who can guide the side for many years to come.”

Sharath also disclosed that Abhinav Mukund, who led Tamil Nadu to the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy, had informed him and the TNCA (Tamil Nadu Cricket Association) that he did not want to be considered for Twenty20 captaincy.

“Abhinav said to us that he needed a break from captaincy. But he is available as a player,” Sharath added.

The State selection panel chief noted, “We are looking at vibrant, multi-dimensional cricketers for this format. Fitness and fielding are very important aspects.”

The selection for the Twenty20 tournament promises to be interesting given that the Tamil Nadu Premier League has thrown up quite a few young, exciting cricketers suitable for the shortest format of the game.

After the Twenty20 competition, the city will host the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament from February 25 to March 6. Gujarat, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra, Bengal and Goa will take part in the bunch of matches, to be held in Chennai.

Following the disappointment of the Ranji Trophy semifinal loss to Mumbai, Tamil Nadu will have opportunities to win a title this season. And for the Twenty20 campaign it will have a new captain.