The recruitment for players for the upcoming season of Tamil Nadu Premier League went underway on Thursday, with a healthy mix of Indian international regulars and local talents up for grabs in the 2018 TNPL Draft.
128 players were picked by the eight franchises in the event that spanned over two sessions. A few stood out among the players picked for the cricketing community's familiarity with them for their exploits in the IPL and preceding seasons of the TNPL.
Washington Sundar, who got picked by Tuti Patriots is coming off the back of a disappointing IPL season where after breakout performances for the Rising Pune Supergiant, he failed to put up impressive numbers on the board playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sundar picked just 4 wickets in 11 matches at a shade over 48 runs per wicket. Although, a strong start to his international career will be the chief motivator for him as despite being only 18 years of age, he is already a premium player in the TNPL draft.
All-rounder Vijay Shankar was snared by Chepauk Super Gillies. After much debate over his inclusion in the Indian side, he silenced the critics with noteworthy numbers in an otherwise underwhelming campaign for the Delhi Daredevils. Shankar scored 213 runs, averaging 53 and striking at more than 140 per 100 balls. Post-IPL, he pointed out how his deceptive off-breaks had been under-utilized and that he would look to contribute more with the ball.
Abhinav Mukund is another one of the international players who got picked today in the first session, he was grabbed by Lyca Kovai Kings. Managing just 22 runs in the limited quota of three innings he batted for Tamil Nadu in the 2017/18 Syed Mushtaq Trophy, Mukund will want to start from the scratch to re-establish his credentials as an opener with a knack for big scores.
T. Natarajan was also picked by the same side as Mukund, got his recognition from the TNPL due to which he became an IPL signing last year. With 9 wickets in 6 matches last season playing for the Dragons, Natarajan is an interesting prospect to keep an eye on with his searing yorkers at the dying stages of the innings.
Having spent the entire season sans a solitary match on the bench, Murali Vijay, who was drafted to Trichy Warriors, will have a point or two to prove as well. He has the penchant to come out of his "test-specialist" shell and play the big shots right from the word go, as is testified by his two IPL centuries. While it is too late to restart an international white ball career, Vijay would use this opportunity to further his now seemingly defunct IPL opportunities.
Dinesh Karthik, who has seen a surge in his stocks in the last three months following his heroics in the Nidahas Trophy finals, then a good season both with the bat and on his first assignment as full time IPL skipper as he led Kolkata Knight Riders to the third place and a place in the ICC World XI side to take on the Windies, was nabbed by Karaikudi Kaalai after Tuti Patriots refrained from retaining him to conserve their purse against the high costs of signing an international player and his potential unavailability owing to his commitments to the national side.
Tuti Patriots - Washington Sundar, Kaushik Gandhi, Sai Kishor R, R.Sathish, Athisayaraj Davidson.V, Akshay Srinivasan, Malolan Rangarajan, Ashith Rajiv, U.Sushil, Dinesh S, Abishiek S, Venkatesh A, Nidish S, R Jesuraj, S Boopalan, S Shubham Mehta.
(Retained: Anand Subramanian, Akash Sumra and Ganesh Moorthy)
Chepauk Super Gillies - Vijay Shankar, Gopinath KH, M.Ashwin, Harish Kumar.S, Ganga Sridhar Raju, Sunny Kumar Singh, Samruddh Bhat, Arun Kumar V, Vishaal R, Rahul B, Siddharth M, Arun B, Aarif A, MK Sivakumar, Manav Parakh, B Sai Sudharsan
(Retained: S Karthik, U Sasidev and RK Alexander)
Lyca Kovai Kings - Anthony Das, Natarajan T, Abhinav Mukund, K.Vignesh, Shahrukh Khan M, Akkil Srinaath, Suresh Kumar J, Mithun R, Suresh Babu, Sumant Jain, Rajesh MP, Ashwin Venkataraman, M Raja, R Sathyanarayan, Mohammed Adnan Khan, S Manikandan
(Retained: Rohith Ravikumar, Pradosh Ranjan Paul and S Ajith Ram)
Siechem Madurai Panthers - Varun CV, Abhishek Tanwar, Rahil Shah, Thalaivan Sargunam.X, Kousik J, Jagannath RS, Nilesh S, Rohit D, S.P Nathan, Tushar Raheja, Kiran Akash L, Lokesh Raj T.D, SS Karnavar, Vikkram Jangid, MS Promoth, PS Shivaramakrishnan
(Retained: KB Arun Karthik, Shijit Chandran and R Karthikeyan)
Trichy Warriors - Sonu Yadav, Sanjay MS, Murali Vijay, C.Ganapathi, Suresh Kumar S, Vasanth Saravanan, Aravind S, Lakshminarayanan M, Vignesh L, Chandrasekar D.T, Aswin Crist A, Mani Bharathy K, Saravana Kumar P, AS Govinda Raajan, RS Thillak, V Aakash
(Retained: B Indrajith, Bharath Shankar and K Vignesh)
Kanchi Veerans - Lokeshwar S, Vishal Vaidhya. K, Aushik Srinivas R, Subramania Siva, Mukilesh U, Sunil Sam, S Arun, Deeban Lingesh K, Francis Rokins P, Siddharth S, Divakar R, Mokit Hariharan, S Chandrasekhar, S Ashwath, U Vishal, Shriram C
(Retained: Baba Aparajith)
Dindigul Dragons - Chaturved N.S, Hari Nishaanth C, Anirudh Sita Ram.B, Mohammed M, Rohit R, Adithya Arun, Abhinav M, Silambarasan, Trilok Nag, Yazh Arun Mozhi, Sujendran M, Kaushik J, N Ramakrishnan, Ra Aravind, Nivethan Radhakrishnan, Varun M Totatri
(Retained: R Ashwin, N Jagadeesan and R Vivek)
IDream Karaikudi Kaalai - Dinesh Karthik, Aniruda.S, V. Yo Mahesh, R Kavin, L Suryap Prakash, Lakshman, Aaditya.V, Kishan Kumar S, Radhakrishnan, Maan K Bafna, Ashwath Mukunthan, Swaminathan. S, Ajith Kumar T, S Ganesh, R Srinivasan, P Murugesh
(Retained: R Rajkumar, M Shajahan and S Mohan Prasath)Published 31 May 2018, 15:41 IST