TNPL 2020 Player Draft to take place on February 20, featuring 633 players

TNPL 2020 Player Draft to take place on February 20, featuring 633 players

Jagadeesan and Periyasamy are the other hot picks among 633 players in the pool.

Chepauk Super Gillies
Chepauk Super Gillies. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Chennai, February 19: India all-rounder Vijay Shankar headlines the Tamil Nadu Twenty20 Premier League (TNPL) Season 5 mega-draft to be held here on Thursday. The 29-year-old Shankar, who turned out for defending champions Chepauk Super Gillies (CSG) will certainly be the No.1 pick. 

The Season 5 draft features 633 players spread across four categories (A, B1, B2 and C) on the basis of their experience at the international, national and TNPL level. Only two players are in Category A: Vijay Shankar and former Lyca Kovai Kings captain Abhinav Mukund. B1 category contains 47 players while B2 has 11 players, who have played at least 20 TNPL matches. The rest are all in Category C.

The TNPL-4 best performers wicketkeeper-batsman Narayan Jagadeesan (448 runs) and fast bowler Ganeshan Periyasamy (21 wickets) will be the other hot picks in the draft. Jagadeesan turned out in Dindigul Dragons colours and Periyasamy for CSG last season.

Two teams have undergone an overhaul including a change in their names in the new season. Tuti Patriots, will be known as Salem Spartans while iDream Karaikudi Kaalai will be iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans. Salem have a headstart in the draft as they are first in the order. Tiruppur, on the other hand, are last in the order of the draft.

All eight teams in Season 5, to be held from June 10 to July 12 2020, have been allowed to retain three players each. The retention of international stars Ravichandran Ashwin, Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik and Washington Sundar by their respective franchises were on expected lines.

Chepauk, Kanchi Veerans and Trichy have also retained their faith in their captains Kaushik Gandhi, Baba Aparajith and Sai Kishore respectively. The maximum number of players each franchise can have in their squad is 22 while the minimum count is 16.

Salem and Coimbatore are new venues

Tamil Nadu Cricket Association president Rupa Gurunath revealed the TNPL this season will be heading to two new venues, Salem Cricket Foundation, Salem and SNR ground, Coimbatore. “We are delighted to take the TNPL to Salem and Coimbatore. Right from the first season, our endeavour was to cast the net wide and take the league to the districts. We have also been encouraged by the tremendous response we received in Dindigul and Tirunelveli to spread our wings,” she said.

For the first time, since the TNPL began four years ago, there will be no game in Chennai, she added. The NPR College ground in Dindigul and India Cements-Sankar Nagar ground in Tirunelveli will the other two venues this season.

TNCA honorary secretary RS Ramasaamy feels the TNPL will be bigger this year in terms of reaching out to a larger audience. “The TNCA is as much excited and keenly looking forward to the games in Coimbatore and Salem. Every season has produced exciting players and we feel it will be no different this season as well,” he said.

Another reason to cheer for the fans in Salem and Coimbatore will be Salem Spartans and iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans, points out TNCA joint secretary KA Shankar. “Fans around Salem and in the Coimbatore-Tiruppur region will have their own teams now to cheer. It will be a new experience for the players of these teams as well,” he said.

Retained players

Chepauk Super Gillies: Kaushik Gandhi, Ramadoss Alexandar, Uthirasamy Sasidev

Head coach: Hemang Badani

Dindigul Dragons: Ravichandran Ashwin, Munnusamy Silambarasan, Rajendran Vivek

Head coach: S Badrinath

Siechem Madurai Panthers: KB Arun Kaarthick, Varun Chakravarthy, Kiran Akash

Head coach: TBC

VB Kanchi Veerans: Baba Aparajith, Sanjay Yadav, NS Harish

Head coach: M Shanmugham

Lyca Kovai Kings: M Sharukh Khan, Thangarasu Natarajan, S Ajith Ram

Head coach: Sriram Somayaaula 

Salem Spartans: Washington Sundar, Akshay Srinivasan, M Ganesh Moorthi

Head coach: S Suresh

Ruby Trichy Warriors: Murali Vijay, Sai Kishore, Sonu Yadav

Head coach: Ajay Kudua 

iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans: Dinesh Karthik, R Rajkumar, Maan K Bafna

Head coach: R Prasanna 


Category A (Players with international experience; Rs 6 lakh): 2

Category B1-B2 (First class cricketers and those who have played 20 TNPL games; Rs 2-3 lakh): 58

Category C (Others; Rs 50,000-1 lakh): 573

What’s new

Two teams: Salem Spartans (formerly Tuti Patriots) and iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans (formerly iDream Karaikudi Kaalai)

Two venues: Salem Cricket Foundation, Salem; SNR ground, Coimbatore