LYCA Kovai Kings is a cricket franchise representing the city of Coimbatore in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) competition. The franchise is owned by Lyca Productions.
The team was one of the participants in the inaugural edition of TNPL hosted in 2016. They were led by Murali Vijay in 2016, while J. Syed Mohammed was the captain of the side for the 2017 edition.
Lyca Productions bought the Coimbatore franchise for Rs. 5.01 crore. Before the start of the inaugural edition of the tournament, Lyca Production Private Limited expressed their desire to promote their own brands through the franchise. The owners aimed at co-promoting their movies through the franchise.
The franchise roped in former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener as the mentor for the inaugural edition of the tournament. They also picked India international Murali Vijay as the captain of the side during the TNPL Draft.
The franchise reached the semi-finals of the tournament in 2016 where they lost to Chepauk Super Gillies. They finished fourth in the points table with eight points and managed to qualify as they had a superior net run rate in comparison to Karaikudi Kalai and VB Thiruvallur Veerans.
In the semi-final, Chepauk Super Gillies posted 161/7 on the board with Sathiamoorty Saravanan scoring 52. After a decent start, the side only managed to get 144/9 in their 20 overs, thus losing by only 17 runs.
The franchise finished fourth on the league standings once again in 2017, managing four wins out of seven games. In the eliminator, they faced Karaikudi Kalai who finished third. Kalai posted a massive 193/3 due to Srikanth Anirudha’s 79 off 36 balls. In their chase, Kovai Kings looked all but fine at 99/4 in the 11th over. But Ravi Kumar Rohith hit an unbeaten 102 off 46 deliveries to take his side through to the second qualifier.
The team faced Chepauk Super Gillies in the second qualifier. Batting first, LYCA Kovai Kings were restricted to 136/9 due to some impressive bowling from R. Sai Kishore and Arun Kumar. The Super Gillies were coasting during their chase when the skies opened up with the score at 90/1 after 11 overs. The match was called off and the Chepauk Super Gillies won by 27 runs with the help of VJD method.
Career Trajectory of the club
The LYCA Kovai Kings are one of the three franchises who have reached the knockout phase of the competition in both seasons of the tournament. However, they failed to reach the finals in either season.
With Murali Vijay, they had one of the most charismatic sons of Tamil Nadu cricket in the franchise. However, due to commitments with the national side, he failed to make much impact for the side.
For the 2018 edition, the franchise owners decided to have a new management team at the helm of affairs. Monty Desai, who took Tuti Patriots to the championship in the inaugural season was roped in as the new mentor replacing Lance Klusener.
Besides Monty, his entire coaching staff from Tuti Patriots including batting coach J. R. Madanagopal and bowling coach Gokulakrishnan joined the LYCA Kovai Kings ahead of the 2018 tournament. Fresh faces like Abhinav Mukund, W. Anthony Dias and Shahrukh Khan were also bought during the TNPL Players Draft.