Vijay Shankar will don Chepauk Super Gillies’ colours after he was snapped up by the reigning champions in an exciting Player draft for the third edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League that was held at the ITC Grand Chola in Chennai on Thursday.
India’s T20I all-rounder Vijay Shankar had turned out for LYCA Kovai Kings in the previous edition. Meanwhile, Washington Sundar was bought back by Tuti Patriots, champions of the inaugural edition.
A total of 772 players had registered for the draft of the TNPL which is growing bigger and better with each passing season.
International cricketer Dinesh Karthik was picked up by iDream Karaikudi Kaalai. The ’keeper-batsman had previously played for Tuti Patriots.
Both Karthik and Sundar figure in the India squad for the limited-overs leg of the England tour comprising of 3 T20I and as many ODIs which concludes on July 17, and in the current scenario will only miss the first week of action in TNPL-3 which kicks off on July 11.
“The enthusiasm and interest shown by franchise officials was tremendous, the picks by all eight teams keen and I’m sure TNPL-3 will be very exciting,” said RI Palani, joint secretary, TNCA.
Each of the eight teams had retained three players ahead of the draft.
Briefing franchise officials earlier, N Srinivasan, Executive Committee member, TNCA, said it was necessary to take a long-term view on the league.
“It is very important that we have faith in the TNPL, that we will do everything possible to enhance the quality and the substance of the league. We will not spare any effort in this regard,” he stated.
“I think the success of the league is because of the interest the broadcasters (Star Sports) have taken, this has provided players a big platform. The league is getting stronger by the year and is bound to get financially stronger as the days go by,” he added.
In other interesting draftings, Rajagopal Sathish, who led Chepauk Super Gillies to success last season, was bought by Tuti Patriots while Test openers Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund were picked up by Ruby Trichy Warriors and LYCA Kovai Kings respectively.
Among other prominent players, W Antony Dhas will turn out for LYCA Kovai Kings, S Lokeshwar for VB Kanchi Veerans, Kaushik Gandhi stays with Tuti Patriots, T Natarajan moves to LYCA Kovai Kings, S Anirudha stays with iDream Karaikudi Kaalai, M Ashwin moves to Chepauk Super Gillies, R Sai Kishore to Tuti Patriots and V Yo Mahesh to iDream Karaikudi Kaalai. Siechem Madurai Panthers and Dindigul Dragons also made some interesting picks.
“I wish to thank everyone (eight franchises) for selecting their best teams and in making this draft a grand success,” said S Raghavan, vice-chairman, TNPL.
Players were divided into three categories.
Category A: Those who have represented senior National team – Rs 5lakh/Rs 4 lakh/Rs 3 lakh.
Category B: Rs 2.5 lakh/ Rs 2 lakh/ Rs 1.5 lakh (B1: Those who have played First-Class tournaments conducted by the BCCI (multi-day/One-Day/T20; B2: Those who have not played senior domestic tournaments conducted by the BCCI and those who have played more than 75 % of TNPL games for a team over the last two years).
Category C: Other players Rs 1 lakh/ Rs. 0.75 lakh/ 0.5 lakh.