The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) on 10 June announced the launch of the Tamil Nadu Premier League in Chennai. This step is being taken to make cricket more popular in the state.
The Premier League will aim to provide opportunities to domestic players to showcase their talent and to have better prospects in the bigger tournaments being played.
"This is important for Tamil Nadu, this is important 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 give them a future. The other (aspect) is, this will help develop cricket in the districts of Tamil Nadu. Instead of cricket being urban and confined to Chennai, this will take cricket to the nooks and corners of Tamil Nadu, which is very good," TNCA president and former BCCI chief N Srinivasan said.
The TNCA received a total franchise fee of Rs 33.34 crore through the bidding process of the eight teams that will feature in the inaugural edition of the state's Premier League.
A total of 22 bids were collected, of which 17 had taken part in the bidding process for the eight franchise leagues. The minimum bid price was set at Rs 1.25 crore per franchise.
Thoothukudi Sports and Entertainment Private Ltd made the highest bid of Rs 5.21 crore and they have chosen Thoothukudi as their district area, followed by Metronation Chennai Television, which bought the South Chennai team for a bid amount of Rs 5.13 crore.
Lyca Productions bagged the Coimbatore Team for Rs 5.01 crore while Kothari (Madras) Ltd roped in the Madurai team at Rs 4.001 crore.
While Kancheepuram team went to the Ruby Builders and Promoters (Rs 3.69 crore), VB Cricket Academy (Rs 3.48 crore) and Take Solutions Ltd (Rs 3.42 crore) became the owners of the Thiruvallur team and the Dindugal team respectively.
Chettinad Apparels Pvt. Ltd bagged the Karaikudi team for Rs 3.3 crore.
Reflecting on the bidding, N Srinivasan said that the enthusiasm for the first season of the tournament is extremely high, adding that he hopes to see a large number of spectators after a healthy amount of bidding.
N Srinivasan further confirmed that the TNCA is in talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in order to get players from other states in the event .
"This is a domestic tournament for players registered in Tamil Nadu. We will have dialogues with BCCI and we are hopeful that they will agree to allow players from other states to participate," he said.
The announcement came when Chennai Super Kings is serving a two-year suspension from the Indian Premier League.
Commenting on the issue, the TNCA president said, "We feel the absence because the Chennai team was not in the IPL, but time will fly .One season without CSK is already over, just one year left. CSK will obviously come in after a year without any intervention."
STAR India, which was the lone bidder for the media rights, will be the official broadcaster for the event and the commentary will be done in English and Tamil.
The players will be selected by a draft process, with the highest bidder getting a chance to pick first from a list of players.
A total of 27 matches will be played during the first edition of the TNPL and the venues for the games will be Chennai, Tirunelveli and Natham.
The inaugural edition of TNPL will commence during the fourth week of August.