After a lull of two years due to COVID-19, the Karnataka State Cricket Association has come up with Maharaja Trophy KSCA T20 tournament, the latest avatar of Karnataka Premier League (KPL), which will be held from August 7 to 26.
The matches will be organised at Bengaluru and Mysuru, KSCA president Roger Binny said.
“Due to COVID-19, we could not organise the T20 event. It was a setback. We lost two crucial years. Now we are conducting the tournament to unearth young talent from small towns,” Binny, a former India cricketer told reporters.
According to him, the tourney is being organised in memory of former titular Mysuru king Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, who was a former president of the KSCA.
The KSCA is playing it safe this time, after having burnt its hands in the KPL, which was mired in match-fixing controversies and had led to the arrest of a few players and a team owner.
“This year onwards we have thought of a new model. A new model where we have team sponsors and not team owners. It’s not the franchisee model. We are trying to replicate the Big Bash model like in Australia,” KSCA secretary Santosh Menon said.
He explained that the event will be run by the KSCA and will be held in Mysuru and Bengaluru.
“The entire responsibility of owning the team, running the cricket and taking care of the players remains with the KSCA,” Menon said.
He said Karnataka has been divided into six zones — Bengaluru, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Hubballi, Mangaluru and Raichur.
The teams will be picked on a draft model. The cricket committee of the KSCA led by its president Binny after various meetings decided to form core groups, each comprising six head coaches, six assistant coaches, one selector and a former Ranji Trophy player, Menon elaborated.
“These core groups will run the cricket for each team,” the KSCA secretary said.
The likes of Stuart Binny, Nazeeruddin, Mansoor Ali Khan, Nikhil Haldipur, Deepak Chougule and P V Shashikanth would be the head coaches, Menon said.
“Anand Katti, A R Mahesh, M B Prashanth, Santosh Vadeyaraj and Raghotham Navali are the selectors, who will pick the cricketers on a draft model and not on an auction model,” he said.
On the occasion, Binny also unveiled the logo and the Maharaja-themed trophy, which has been crafted with an engraved metal pillar adorned by 11 solid wings that suggest the number of players in a cricket team.
The event will be telecast live on Star Sports-2 and Star Sports Kannada. Also, it will be live streamed on the Fancode app.
The KPL was launched in 2009 and eight editions were held in the state.
Talking to PTI, Menon said all the players will be from Karnataka, who are registered with the KSCA.
To check malpractices, the KSCA has decided that it will be little more vigilant this time.
“We have written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India to depute their anti-corruption people here. We are going to educate people and the support staff. We have also taken inputs from the police,” Menon explained.