Eight franchisees for second edition of IVL

Eight franchisees for second edition of IVL

“We will include a couple of more teams, a couple of centres and also spread the tournament over 70 days next year,” IVL secretary Nandakumar said.

The inaugural edition of the IVL was conducted at four venues with six teams vying for top honours.

“Many teams complained about the gap (two days) between the legs and there was a visible drop in performance in players over the course of the tournament. So, during a meeting held in Hyderabad on June 23, we decided to give players a break of 5-7 days between legs, thus extending the duration of the event.”

“The tournament is set to start sometime between September and October next year and there will be the mandatory inclusion of two foreign players in each team,” added Nandakumar.

In the inaugural edition, the Karnataka Bulls were far from impressive and finished fourth overall with 29 points from 20 matches, but owner Nandakumar promised a change in the team’s fortunes next year. 

“Five to six players will be swapped for players useful to our squad but universal Sanjay Kumar will retain his position in the team as the icon player. As far as foreign players are concerned, we are looking at Russia and Kazhakstan for some talent. I’ve been in touch with the Russian federation and things are looking good,” said Nandakumar.

“Last year, I was in a hurry to pick the squad and evidently there were some mistakes in judgement. We did not pick a balanced squad. Now we have time and I’ll take my pick to make sure we field a strong team,” he added.

Nandakumar, who is also the joint secretary of the VFI, said preparation for the upcoming Junior World Championship in Brazil is in full swing. “The final tune-up will be at the SAI South Centre from July 4 to 7. The Junior team will take on Mauritius in four warm-up matches during the period and then head to Tunisia for an exposure tournament from July 9 to 16, before leaving for Brazil,” Nandakumar said.

“Karnataka’s Sanoj and TD Ravikumar are among the 18 probables and are likely to feature in the 12-member team for the World Championship. The only disappointment is that universal Anup D’Costa failed to make the cut. He is a good player but he has some flaws and I’m sure in the future he will make the junior and senior teams.”

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