TNPL: Ashwin picked by Dindigul franchise

The teams employed different strategies in the first two to three rounds, with most opting for a mix of all-rounders and batsmen. Dindigul Dragons, however, preferred to fill its bowling slots first. After R. Ashwin, the side added M. Ashwin and left-arm medium-pacer T. Natrajan to its line-up.

Dindigul Dragons pouched the world's number one ranked Test bowler, Ravichandran Ashwin.   -  Reuters

From a pool of 888 players, 151 were picked by the eight teams in the draft process for the inaugural edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) held here on Saturday.

The Thoothukudi franchise, as the highest bidder, started the proceedings, picking wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik. The south Tamil Nadu side then snapped up experienced T20 player R. Satish.

The Coimbatore franchise went for M. Vijay, the first among the current Indian players to be roped in. Ravichandran Ashwin was chosen by the Dindigul franchise.

The teams employed different strategies in the first two to three rounds, with most opting for a mix of all-rounders and batsmen. Dindigul Dragons, however, preferred to fill its bowling slots first. After R. Ashwin, the side added M. Ashwin and left-arm medium-pacer T. Natrajan to its line-up.

Tuti Patriots made the best use of the advantage of picking first, selecting three players who have represented the country (Karthik, Abhinav Mukund and Laxmipathy Balaji) and talented youngsters like left-arm spinner R. Aushik Srinivas, top-order batsman M. Kaushik Gandhi, medium-pacer Aswin Crist and all-rounder M.S. Washington Sundar.

Each team picked 19 players, except the Coimbatore franchise which chose 18. This, according to its COO, was due to numerology!

The Madurai franchise, owned by Kothari (Madras), announced that former Australia ODI specialist Michael Bevan has been appointed as coach.

With the participation of outstation players still in limbo, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association has sought the Board’s permission to permit at least 25 from a pool of 70 outstation players.

TNPL chairman P. S. Raman said, “Out of the 70 players, 25 of them are residents of Chennai and employed by companies here. They play in the other TNCA tournaments too as local players. So we have asked the board why they can’t play in the TNPL.”

Raman added that BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke has promised to look into the matter. In case the Board agrees, there will be a separate draft with each team picking two players from the 25 in the list.