TNPL 2022: Murali Vijay set to return after two-year break

TNPL 2022: Murali Vijay set to return after two-year break

Vijay was last seen in IPL 2020 for the Chennai Super Kings.

Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Murali Vijay is set to return to cricketing action after nearly a two-year break as he will participate for the Rahil Shah-led Ruby Trichy Warriors in the 2022 Tamil Nadu Premier League, starting June 23.

Vijay was last seen in action during the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League, when he was associated with the Chennai Super Kings. Ever since, he has not played any cricket. The 38-year-old, who has 87 caps for India, is a stalwart in Tamil Nadu cricket. A leading member of a young family, the 38-year-old has expressed that he wants to play “as long as possible”, returning from his “personal break”.

“I want to play as long as possible. Just took a personal break,” Vijay said at a TNPL event in Chennai earlier this week. “I have a young family and wanted to take care of them. I’m enjoying my cricket now and I’m feeling fit, hopefully, I can do my bit for my team and TNPL.

“It was difficult for me personally because I wanted to play but I had injuries and my personal life was going at a fast pace. I wanted to slow it down and see where I was standing as an individual. I wanted to reflect on myself and that’s why I felt that [a] break was required and needed for me at that particular time. TNCA has understood that and they’ve given me this beautiful platform to come back and play the game.”

The two-year break was to reflect: Murali Vijay

The last of Vijay’s international appearance was against Australia in Perth during the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India won 2-1 with victories in Adelaide and Melbourne. He last wore a Tamil Nadu shirt in December 2019 during the Ranji Trophy. Meanwhile, an experienced campaigner, Vijay is eyeing to guide the youngsters at TNPL in the coming season.

“The two-year break was to reflect on the exact point you are saying [India comeback],” Vijay said. “At the end of the day, you have to be realistic with your targets. I pretty much don’t have any aim at the moment. I just want to play cricket and enjoy this phase of my life at this point and see where it takes me, with the help of TNCA.”

Crediting the TNPL for Tamil Nadu’s white-ball rise, Vijay said: “Definitely, yes. T20 format… started it in 2006 or 2007, we [Tamil Nadu] were the champions that edition and from thereon, we never looked back in T20s,” he said.

“We constantly performed well. TNPL, as I’ve told before, it’s a gift for Tamil Nadu cricketers. It’s about how we use it and express ourselves in the middle. It has definitely helped all youngsters I feel; six-seven of them are playing in IPL right now and India through the TNPL. The way they’ve played got them high attention, so this is an amazing tournament and I hope the efforts are being used by the boys and go climb it, man. Go big from Tamil Nadu.”

The TNPL 2022 season will be played between June 23 to July 31 across four venues – Tirunelveli, Dindigul, Coimbatore, and Salem.