The 2018 Karnataka Premier League (KPL) is the seventh edition of the Karnataka Premier League, a franchise based T20 cricket competition organised annually by the Karnataka State Cricket Association.
The first season of KPL was held back in 2009 and was won by Provident Bangalore. The defending champions for the current edition of the tournament is Belagavi Panthers who beat Bijapur Bulls by 6 wickets to take home their first title.
The seven teams taking part in the seventh season of KPL are same as that of those in the previous season. Hubli Tigers, Bijapur Bulls, Belagavi Panthers, Mysuru Warriors, Bellary Tuskers and Bengaluru Blasters are six of the sides taking part in this season’s competition. The seventh side is Shivamogga Lions who have changed their name from Namma Shivamogga.
The seven franchises taking part in the 2018 KPL were given the choice of retaining upto four players.
Defending champions Belagavi Panthers retained India internationals Manish Pandey and Stuart Binny. They also retained the services of Stalin Hoover and Avinash D.
Bellary Tuskers retained CM Gautam, Devdutt Padikkal, Rohan Kadam and Abhinav Manohar.
Bijapur Bulls decided to retain the services of Ronit More, KC Cariappa, Naveen MG and the veteran Bharath Chipli.
Hubli Tigers who topped the table after the group stage took back Abhishek Reddy, Praveen Dubey, Vinay Kumar and Abhishek Sakhuja from their last year’s squad.
Crisis man Pavan Deshpande was retained along with Mitrakant Yadav, Koushik V and Abhishek Bhat by the Bengaluru Blasters.
Mysuru Warriors retained J.Suchith, Manjunath SP, Bareth NP and Vyshak Vijaykumar.
Shivamogga Lions retained Aniruddha Joshi, Mohammad Sarfaraz Ashraf, Nihal Ullal and Liyan Khan.
Veteran fast bowler Abhimanyu Mithun and batsman M.Nidhish were the most expensive buys in Pool A and B respectively in the auction which took place. Mithun was the subject of a bidding war and was eventually bought by Shivamogga Lions for INR 8.3 lakhs.
Auction started off with big names like K.Gowtham, Mayank Agarwal, R.Samarth and Shreyas Gopal being ignored due to their probable inclusion in the Duleep Trophy squad. Former India international Robin Uthappa was bought by Bengaluru Blasters for INR 7.9 lakhs.
The Pool B players found a lot of attention in the auction. The likes of KB Pawan, Arjun Hoysala, Suneel Raju, KP Appanna and Abrar Kazi were all bought for hefty sums.
The likes of Agarwal and Prasidh Krishna who were ignored earlier, were later bought by Hubli Tigers and Bengaluru Blasters for only INR 25,000 and INR 30,000 respectively.
The auction ended with K.Gowtham being bought by Mysuru Warriors for INR 25,000 although he may not get many matches to play.
The 2018 KPL gets underway on 15th August 2018. The tournament spans over 19 days and features a total of 24 matches. The matches will be played in three venues at Mysuru, Hubli and Bengaluru. The final of the seventh season of KPL will be played on 6th September 2018.