The other teams in the TNPL include South Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Dindigul and Karaikudi © Getty Images (Representational Image)
The other teams in the TNPL include South Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Dindigul and Karaikudi © Getty Images (Representational Image)

VB Chandrasekhar is one of the legendary Indian cricketers who loves Twenty20 (T20) cricket and had earlier expressed his desire to play the format had he born in this era of cricket, or had he still been playing. He also expressed his love for the format, when he recently owned the Tiruvallur franchise for the upcoming inaugural season of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), which is set to be played in August-September. “T20 is the future of cricket, it’s the No.1 choice for a fan now,” said VB, who bought the franchise for Rs. 3.48 crore, reports Times of India. Although he was initially interested in the Kancheepuram franchise, where he mostly grew up, it was owned up by Ruby Builders and Promoters for Rs. 3.69 crore. VB Chandrasekhar smashes 100 in 56 balls to set up a successful fourth innings

“I was hoping to get Kancheepuram but it went to Ruby just before my turn came. So I was happy to go with Thiruvallur,” he said. Albert Muralidharan, who represented Thoothukudi Sports & Entertainment Limited, made the highest bid for Thoothukudi franchise, for Rs. 5.21 crore. The other teams that include South Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Dindigul and Karaikudi – were owned by Lyca Productions, Kothari International Limited, Take Solutions and Chettinad Apparels Private Limited, respectively. They teams are set to be divided into two groups and there would be a total of 27 matches that would be played across three grounds in Chennai, i.e. MA Chidambaram Stadium, NPR College Grounds (Dindigul) and India Cements Ground (Tirunelveli), reports Cricbuzz.

Meanwhile, TNCA president N Srinivasan said that the tournament would help the rise of more talented players from Tamil Nadu. “District players will get a chance to play with top ones. It will be a step forward for state cricket,”he said. However, when it comes to the owners, Chandrashekhar has to most cricketing experience. “For now, time is short. But in future, I can have coaching camps there and get the best players from the region to play for my team,” Chandrashekhar added.

Chandrashekhar earlier used to be a part of now disqualified Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK), when the team was established in 2008. His role included picking up players as such MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Mike Hussey, Matthew Hayden and Albie Morkel as CSK went on to become one of the most consistent team in the initial eight years of the IPL. “I will definitely try to use that experience, more so if it helps me create as successful a brand as CSK,” he said.

However, when it comes to TNPL, he says that it would be a difficult task to come up with a breakout performance in the opening season. “It’s a long process and you have to be realistic. It’s about building up a brand and I think I have enough cricket experience to do it. We will have to get sponsors on board before we decide on the probable team composition,” he said.

As for the player selection, there would not be any auction, but the players would be picked following a draft. The highest bidder would be choosing the players first, that rules out Chandrashekhar of getting the top player in the league. “My turn to choose a player will come sixth, so it won’t be very easy that way . But it will be great if I can manage to get the Baba twins [Indrajith and Aparajith] in my team,” said the owner. He is also hoping that the BCCI would give the permission and allow the outstation players to participate in the league. “A league like this needs maximum exposure to do well. Let’s see if the BCCI allows outstation players in the league,” Chandrashekhar concluded.