The two-year suspension of Chennai Super Kings from the Indian Premier League has left cricket fans in Tamil Nadu perturbed. However, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has stepped in to address the concern. And the Tamil Nadu Premier League T20 is the solution.
Eight franchisees will be competing in the Twenty20 tournament, which is scheduled to start in the last week of August and continue until the second week of September. The teams will be divided into two groups of four each.
One of the teams, Lyca Kovai Kings, has already announced a star attraction — former South Africa veteran Lance Klusener. The 44-year-old, who is well-known for his exploits in the 1999 Cricket World Cup where he was the Player of the Series, has been signed up as the coach of the side.
Klusener joins former Tamil Nadu player C Hemanth Kumar and present Tamil Nadu cricketer R Prasanna in the coaching staff. The list of players has not been announced as of now.
"Enthusiasm for cricket is very high and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association is determined to work for the players," said N Srinivasan, the former BCCI chairman and the current TNC president. "A word with BCCI is in progress and I hope other state players too would be allowed to play in the league.
"TNC will ask BCCI and we will see how they respond. BCCI's consent is a must in the approval of other state players to play in the Tamil Nadu Premier League. We believe the response would be enthusiastic from the local fans, and the tournament will turn out to be a success," the 71-year-old cricket administrator added.