TNPL needs changes to avoid stagnation, says franchise owner

The draft system doesn’t provide enough motivation for any team to nurture a player, points out Chepauk Super Gillies owner B. Sivanthi Adityan.

Chepauk Super Gillies at the player draft in Chennai on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

After the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) came into existence to fill the void created by the suspension of Chennai Super Kings from the Indian Premier League (IPL) three years ago, many had doubted its sustainability. When a prominent broadcaster was brought on board to telecast the matches live, a lot of apprehensions were erased and the league became the talking point among scouts and national and Indian Premier League (IPL) teams.

 

While players from the league had gone on to grab IPL contracts in the first season, they drew a blank in the next, and questions about the league’s future surfaced again.

Defending champion Chepauk Super Gillies owner B. Sivanthi Adityan observed that the growth of the league is stagnant. “To be brutally honest, that’s how it is. We need outstation and India international players. That’s how the league would evolve,” he said.

‘Little motivation’

Adityan said the draft system doesn’t give enough motivation for any team to nurture a player and suggested the league instead have an auction or a private signing system. “We identify a talent and develop him only to find another team sign him up. That leaves us with little motivation to develop a player’s skills. An auction gives more room and motivation for that. Top leagues in the world like La Liga and [the English Premier League] have private signing. I am all for it. That also gives the player the scope to play for the team he wants to also,” he explained.

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Aditya also pointed out that a change of rule in retention was a setback for many franchises. “We were looking to play with the same team for one more year but the rules had changed and we were caught unawares. There were a lot of bonds formed and relationships made. It was difficult to let go of players. We had planned Rajagopal Satish as our captain this year, too, hoping to take him the draft, first pick. But some rules changed and he was drafed into another team. But having said this, I am happy with the squad I have now,” he asserted.

The team possesses India all-rounder Vijay Shankar, but Aditya admitted he would only be available in the business end of the tournament. In Shankar’s absence, vice captain and retained player K. H. Gopinath may lead the side.