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Karnataka Premier League 2016 launched by KSCA

IPL stars Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal were present at the event, along with Indian legends Gundappa Viswanath and Brijesh Patel.

KPL
The franchise owners with the KSCA officials, including Mr. Brijesh Patel (4L) and Mr. P.R. Ashokanand (8L).

The fifth edition of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) was launched at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday. Pioneered by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), the league serves as a launchpad for youngsters from the state to showcase their talent on a large scale. The ceremony, attended by the organisers and the franchise owners, started with the launch of the new KPL anthem.

The anthem launch was followed by an address by the President of the KSCA, P.R. Ashokanand, who lauded the success of the last edition while promising a bigger and better fifth edition of the tournament, which is also a tribute to SDNR Wadiyar, the erstwhile prince of Mysuru. He thanked the franchise owners, lauding the unprecedented hit in television broadcasting and electronic media, and officially inaugurated the tournament.

The address was followed by theme videos of each franchise. Thereafter, the Secretary of the KSCA, and former Indian player, Brijesh Patel, felicitated each franchise owner as well as the other dignitaries present at the event, including the former India batsman, Gundappa Viswanath.

Addressing the gathering, he said that young players have been given a wonderful opportunity to play with the white ball under lights, and stated that players who are mentally tough have been performing well, with a lot of IPL franchises showing interest in them.

Sony will be the official broadcaster for the tournament. SuperSport and Willow TV will serve as broadcast partners, and will be relaying the telecast of the matches in South Africa and the US respectively.

The tournament will start in Mysuru on 16th September, with the semifinals and finals scheduled to be held on 30th September and 1st October in Hubbali.

With eight teams in the fray for the title, there will be a maximum of 18 players in the squad for each franchise. The auctions will be held on 10th August, with two major pools: A and B, with a separate pool ‘C’ from where the franchises can request to choose players from. The prize money and player fees, along with the KSCA contributions will remain the same for the players.

The all-stars team named Rock Stars, led by Kannada superstar Kiccha Sudeep, will also take part in the auction this time. All the franchises are allowed to retain only four players. The first phase will be held at the SDNR Wadiyar Cricket Ground from September 16 to 25, followed by the Hubbali phase at the KSCA Stadium in Raj Nagar from September 27 to October 1.

Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, former Indian great, Gundappa Viswanath, said: “KPL started again last year after a gap of a couple of years. I’m really happy about it, because a lot of youngsters can prove their mettle, especially when you are playing at Hubbali and other places, as back in our days it only used to be Bangalore. Hence, you get the exposure from all over Karnataka. It is a good thing as well for Karnataka cricket and I hope that they can come up from here and climb higher.”

Sportskeeda also spoke to Brijesh Patel, who talked about the scope of the KPL:I think it has really evolved. A big plus is that Sony themselves have come up to broadcast the event. All the franchises have come and watched the matches and have picked the players thereafter, and we have seen the boys benefit from it. The first edition had KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, who got picked up in the first slot, and then we have KC Cariappa and Shivil Kaushik. These were the guys who were unknown but were picked up by different IPL games.”

Actress Ragini Dwivedi, co-owner of the Bellary Tuskers, spoke to Sportskeeda about promoting local talent through the league: “This is our effort towards promoting a lot of local cricketers who really deserve to be out there and are not really getting the opportunities. I hope that, through my team, and through this whole initiative, we can do that. I would really like to see how the local cricketers are shaping up. We want the best for our team, so we’re going to get the best people on board.”

Teams: Bijapur Bulls, Belagavi Panthers, Bellary Tuskers, Hubli Tigers, Mangalore United, Mysuru Warriors, Namma Shivamogga and Rock Stars.

The Karbonn Karnataka Premier League Powered by Cycle Pure Agarbathies is LIVE and Exclusive from 16th September onwards on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD channels.

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