Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) announced by Tamil Nadu Cricket Association
Backed by former BCCI president, and the current Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) president N. Srinivasan, the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) was launched in Chennai today.
“The main idea behind TNPL is to bring cricket to the districts of Tamil Nadu and explore local talent,” said N.Srinivasan, TNCA president and managing director of India Cements Ltd.
The league will have eight franchises (representing districts) for the TNPL. It will commence in the fourth week of August. Karaikudi, Dindigul, Kanchipuram, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruvallur, South Chennai, Thoothukudi will be the franchises. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association received Rs 33.24 crore through the bidding process of the eight teams that will feature in the inaugural Tamil Nadu Premier League.
There will be 27 matches played across three cities which include Chennai, Natham and Tirunelveli. This will be a three-week long tournament and the eight teams will be grouped into two zones of four teams. All the teams will play each other twice and the top two teams from each group will make it to the semi-finals.
The highest bidder was Thoothukudi Sports & Entertainment Pvt Ltd which put in a bid at Rs 5.21 crore.
The winner of the league will take home a prize money of Rs 1 crore while the runner-up will be richer by Rs 60 lakh. The semi-finalists each receive Rs 40 lakh. The remaining participants will get Rs 25 Lakh. The TNCA earned a substantial Rs 33.51 crore in franchise rights.
The league will approach the BCCI to allow other players from different states to participate in the competition.
"This is important for Tamil Nadu, more so for domestic Tamil Nadu. There are two aspects to it. One is Tamil Nadu players can showcase their talent so that the IPL teams or any other team can look at them and take interest and give them a future. The other (aspect) is this will help develop cricket in the districts of Tamil Nadu," said N Srinivasan.
The players will be snapped up by the teams by a draft process. The highest bidder will earn the right to pick a player from the draft and this process will continue for all the different rounds.