CHENNAI: Players, especially the budding cricketers, have been the biggest beneficiaries of the Tamil Nadu Premier League since the inception of the tournament in 2016.
The T20 league has given them a big platform to showcase their talent, helped them financially and graduate to the next level. As the matches are shown live on TV during primetime, they became household names.
The fact that scouts from various IPL teams monitored the league closely underlined its quality. Since 2016, a bunch of unheralded players used the TNPL route to make it to the IPL. Washington Sundar, T. Natarajan, Sanjay Yadav, N. Jagadeesan and Varun Chakravarthy are some of the products of TNPL.
From Salem to Kings XI
Hailing from Chinnappampatti, a dusty village in Salem, Natarajan was playing tennis ball cricket before TNPL unearthed the gem in him. The fast bowler then bagged a `3 crore IPL contract with Kings XI Punjab. The TNPL changed his life for good as Natarajan was struggling to realise his cricket dreams with his father being a daily-wage labourer in a textile unit and mother running a roadside stall, selling fried chicken. Last season, Varun Chakravarthy, a mystery spinner, was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping Rs 8.4 crore.
The next big thing It could be G.Periyasamy’s turn next time. The pacer who has vision problem in one eye hails from Salem.
A school dropout, Periyasamy was struggling to make ends meet by herding cows in his village. He produced a lethal spell during the TNPL-4 final to help Chepauk Super Gillies win their second title recently. With a slingy action, resembling that of Sri Lankan star Lasith Malinga, Periyasamy can be an asset for a T20 side.
TNPL has done well: NS
Former BCCI president N. Srinivasan who played a key role in launching the league said the development of players and their graduation to the national team has been the biggest gains of the TNPL over the four years.
“TNPL has done well, grown well. Of course, there are more state tournaments of this kind-franchise based league, but, I think TNPL has a march over everybody else. Every year you see players from TNPL going into the IPL and go on to wear national colours also. I think that is ultimately what we want. We want cricket to develop, we want players to develop and we want to see them in good places, that is happening and I think that’s the satisfaction,” he said on the sidelines of the TNPL final....