Bangalore, July 18: Karnataka Premier League (KPL) returns this year in August with a glamourous touch to the Twenty20 tournament as an All Star XI comprising film actors will be in action.
Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) announced the launch of KPL 2014 today at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The 16-day tournament will see each of the teams playing each other once with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.
The total number of teams will be announced later after the bidding process for the franchises is complete. It is likely to be an eight-team league. The players will be picked via auction.
Brijesh and his team won the last year's KSCA election having promised to put KPL back on track after being a non-starter for three years under the previous regime of Anil Kumble-Javagal Srinath group.
"The Karnataka Premier League, a vision of our Late President, Scion of Mysore Royal Family Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, is being revived after the grand success of the first two editions held in 2009 and 2010. As a tribute to the Maharaja, the Karnataka Premier League will be named in his memory," the organisers said on Friday.
"The tournament will be held on the same lines as the first two editions. The highlight of KPL 2014 however, would be the participation of a celebrity cricket team led by well-known Kannada film star Sudeep. This team will also feature top film stars of the country like Ram Charan Teja, Shabeer Ahluwalia, Tarun Chandra, Arun Benny among others," they added.
"We wanted to add some glamour to the league. They have played really good competitive cricket in Celebrity Cricket League. It will be an all-India team," said Patel when asked about the participation of film stars team.
This will be the third edition of KPL. The first two were in 2009 and 2010.
The tentative start for the tournament has been fixed at August 23. The final will be in Mysore on September 7.
Top stars from Karnataka Vinay Kumar, Robin Uthappa, Abhimanyu Mithun, Manish Pandey, S Arvind, Karun Nair, K L Rahul will be a part of this edition. However, KSCA is yet to get clearance from BCCI for participation from other states' players.
The All Stars XI will have a mix of players from the teams that featured in the film actors' Celebrity Cricket League. Kannada actor Sudeep, who led Karnataka Bulldozers to title win in last season of CCL, will captain the side in KPL.
In the first edition, BCCI had barred participation of other state cricketers in the league.
Bangalore Metro, Greater Bangalore, Belgaum, Bellary, Hubli-Dharwad, Gulbarga, Mangalore, Mysore Raichur and Shimoga are locations up for grabs by former and new franchises. The T20 franchise based league will kick off from Hubli and travel to Bangalore before finally culminating in Mysore.
The day and night matches will be held at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, Rajnagar Ground at Hubli and Gangotri Glades Cricket Ground at Mysore.
"After the grand success of the last two seasons of KPL, we are glad to present the third season of this sporting extravaganza. The tournament is an initiative by the KSCA to celebrate the sport of cricket in Karnataka. We thank the players, franchises, sponsors, media and all connected in supporting our attempt to provide an ideal platform for aspiring cricketers in the state. KPL 2014 is also our gesture to pay tribute to the Scion of Mysore Royal Family Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar," Patel said.
The franchises participating in this year's KPL will be announced after the completion of the tender process on July 22.
"Karnataka has a rich cricketing history and the State team has won the Ranji Trophy, Irani Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy this year. The state has been at the forefront in promoting Cricket. The KPL has helped discover new talent and KSCA is among the first to promote inclusive cricket by extending the IPL format to the regional level. We expect the third edition of KPL to be a grand success like in the past," added Patel.
Previous KPL franchises (2009 and 2010)
Bangalore Brigadiers (Urban)
Bangalore Provident (Rural)
Shamanur Davangere Diamonds