TNCA still hopeful of having outstation players in TNPL

The second season of the TNPL kicks off on July 22nd with the first match being held at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

The Tamil Nadu Premier League is set to begin on July 22.   -  K. Pichumani

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is still hopeful, and awaits Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) approval, of outstation players featuring in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). The second season of the TNPL kicks off on July 22nd with the first match being held at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

“We haven't received approval from the BCCI. We are still waiting. If it is negative, we will try again next year,” said TNCA's media manager Dr. R. N. Baba.

"We can do it. We still have time. The first game is on 22nd. If they give approval, we can conduct the auction within a day and they can come and join, even if they are not able to play the first one or two games, defenitely they can join later,” he added.

TNPL follows IPL

TNCA has decided to change the format of the TNPL along the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Last season the top four teams progressed to the semifinals. However, from this season the format will witness Qualifier 1, Eliminator and Qualifier 2, like the cash-rich IPL.

TNCA has also appointed integrity officers for the TNPL. One integrity officer has been appointed per team, and former International Cricket Council (ICC) & BCCI's ACU (Anti-corruption unit) chief, Ravi Sawani, will look over the work of the eight integrity officers.

Two TNPL franchises have decided to alter their names. While Ruby Kanchi Warriros has changed its name to Ruby Trichy Warriors, Madurai Supergiants have followed the IPL side Rising Pune Supergiant and removed the 's' from its name and will be known as Madurai Supergiant henceforth.

Former India cricketer Laxmipathy Balaji praised the role of TNPL in nurturing future stars from the state.

"It will be a stepping stone. In NBA (National Basketball Association), there is a college basketball – which is very famous – and that is the supply chain for NBA. College basketball is covered by local press and it has produced a lot of basketball players for the future. I am sure Tamil Nadu and Indian cricket will definitely benefit. Cricketers from districts especially will get exposure, most of the time metros rule the cricketing circuit. This is a great opportunity for the younger generation.”

“TNPL gives great exposure to cricketers from rural areas. Kids who are watching nowadays are the future of the state cricket. Kids will be encouraged by their parents because earlier it used to (be) restrictive.”

Balaji, who has donned the role of bowling coach at various levels, spoke about his role in the TNPL.

“Everyone aspire(s) to be at the top most level, to represent the country. Right now, I am at the starting stage of my career. I will defenitely do my best as a coach. Mentoring, coaching is teaching me new things – IPL has given me exposure, TNCA has given me expsoure. TNPL is a great platform for me to be connected with the game.”

Balaji, who was the chief guest, congratulated TNCA and the franchises associated with the premier league. He said: “I am sure a lot of players will come from TNPL, will play state cricket and in future for India.”