Cricket fans in Tamil Nadu who might be disappointed with missing out on Indian Premier League (IPL) action this season will have some good news to cheer about when the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) will be launched in the month of August. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is trying to make up for the loss of T20 action in the southern state before the domestic season commences.
The newly announced TNPL is scheduled to be held from the last week of August to the second week of September. However, the league will not be including any players from the IPL as the tournament is restricted to only state players and players who ply their trade in the TNCA league.
The TNPL will follow on similar lines to the IPL and be run as a franchise-based tournament between eight teams. For the first season, only teams from the city of Chennai will be playing.
“The main motive for this league is to build a platform for amateur players to exhibit their T20 talent, have a sustainable model for developing infrastructure in districts and bring in new audiences to the grounds.The league will only feature players from the state. The tender process for media rights and franchise rights will be finalised by the end of this month.
“In 2017, we plan to have a few matches at the NPR College Grounds in Natham (Dindigul) as it has very good facilities and has played host to a few Ranji Trophy clashes in the recent past,” a TNCA official said.
The tournament, in addition to providing T20 entertainment to the fans, will also aid in helping the TNCA unearth unknown playing talents from different parts of the state.
Sunil Subramaniam, former spinner from Tamil Nadu, believes that the tournament is just what the fans in Chennai and all across Tamil Nadu.
“With no Twenty20 action in the city, fans accustomed to seeing the CSK play feel deprieved. These tournaments will definitely bring the audiences back to the ground. If a tournament like this throws up even a couple of players for Tamil Nadu, it is a big plus.
“Quality local talent can be a game-changer for any franchise. It would be good if CSK can avail some ready-made players on their return,” Sunil said.
Fans of the now-suspended Chennai Super Kings are one of the most passionate in the country and they will definitely miss out on watching their favourite side in action for the next two seasons. Ahead of the upcoming domestic season, this tournament could be just what the fans in Tamil Nadu need to feed their T20 addiction.