In a first, 16 outstation players are likely to be a part of the third edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League, which commences on July 11. The eight franchises picked up two players each in the draft.

A total of 112 players from 13 state associations registered for the draft that was held in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association premises on Wednesday.

The guidelines followed were that all the registered outstation players should have been granted a 'No Objection Certificate' from their respective state associations, should be uncapped Indian players and should never have been a part of any IPL game this year.

Franchises will be allowed to field both outstation players in the playing XI.

Earlier, the BCCI had clearly mentioned that “players registered with the staging association and/or with the clubs/districts within the territorial jurisdiction of the staging association for the sake of playing local matches/tournament, but who represent another state association in the BCCI domestic tournaments are not eligible to participate in the tournament.”

It would be interesting to see when the outstation players actually get a nod from the lawmakers when they meet on Thursday for a judgement on the issue.

Sivaramakrishnan, Chandrasekhar back outstation players

Former India cricketers Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and team owner of VB Kachi Veerans VB Chandrasekhar, however, plumped for the inclusion of outstation players in the league.

"All the players have got a 'No objective certificate' from their respective host associations. When people can go and play county cricket in England, what's the harm in bringing in outstation players with approvals from associations?

"Every cricketer needs more exposure. The more you play the game, the better you become. Let us look at the overall picture, TNPL is also a platform for players from other states to exhibit their talents," Sivaramakrishnan explained.

"Cricket is not just a sport, it's a profession or a career. I have seen people drop out from schools and colleges to play it. As a cricketer, I would be disappointed if I am not allowed to pick and choose where to play as long as it is under the laws," the former leg-spinner added.

Chandrasekhar opined that the inclusion of outstation players will improve the standard of the league.

"These players are fairly experienced. The tournament would give you the quality of a player in a capsule, includes skill level as well as mental standards. It gives them a chance to come back and show what they have," he said.

The state-owned league will see pulsating action for 33 days in 32 matches. Prominent names like Ravichandran Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay and Vijay Shankar will ply their trade in the league.