After weeks of waiting and hype, the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) is all set to kick off on Wednesday, 24 August, as the Chepauk Super Gillies and Tuti Patriots clash at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
With the state starved of top level cricket action for more than a year, the inaugural edition of the TNPL should serve as breath of fresh air for local fans. The TNPL is along the same lines as the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) and Maharashtra Premier League (MPL), launched in 2009 and 2015 respectively, and is expected to tap into the cricketing potential throughout the south Indian state.
The eight franchises will be captained by well-known names of Tamil Nadu cricket, including the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, etc, and the tournament will be held over one month.
There was a bit of trouble for the league recently, with the participation of star players such as Karthik and Vijay under a cloud, but that has been satisfactorily settled.
Earlier this month, captain of the Indian ODI side and the suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) side Chennai Super Kings (CSK), MS Dhoni launched the league at an event in the Tamil Nadu capital along with former Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) president N Srinivasan, whose company India Cements is the principal sponsor of the league.
Lawyer PS Raman, who heads the BCCI legal cell, will serve as the chairman of the league.
The tournament has seen plenty of hype and promotion, with former Australia and CSK batsman Matthew Hayden being appointed as mascot of the league. Hayden has been seen in various parts of the state in recent days, drumming up enthusiasm for the tournament, and even watching blockbuster Tamil movieKabali as part of his promotion schedule.
Below are all the details that you need to know about the league, given that we are just a few hours away from the tournament's start.
Chepauk Super Gillies: Owners: Metronation Chennai Television; captain: Rajagopal Sathish; coach: Hemang Badani
Tuti Patriots: Owners: Thootukudi Sports Entertainments; captain: Dinesh Karthik
VB Thiruvallur Veerans: Owners: VB Cricket Academy; captain: Baba Aparajith
Karaikudi Kaalai: Owners: Chettinad Apparels; captain: Subramanium Badrinath; coach: Robin Singh
Lyca Kovai Kings: Owners: Lyca Productions; captain: Murali Vijay; coach: Lance Klusener
Madurai Super Giants: Owners: Kothari Madras International limited; captain: Arun Karthik; coach: Michael Bevan
Ruby Kanchi Warriors: Owners: Ruby Builders; captain: Baba Indrajith; mentor: Brett Lee
Dindigul Dragons: Owners: Take solutions; captain: Ravichandran Ashwin
Duration: 24 August to 18 September
Where to watch: Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1
Venues: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai; NPR College Ground, Dindigul; Indian Cement Company Ground, Tirunelveli