Dual role for Arun Kumar

Former skipper to be captain/coach of Panthers

J Arun Kumar

While most franchises have more or less decided upon the coaching staff -- even if not all of them are keen to go public at this stage -- the Belgaum side, to be called the Belgavi Panthers, confirmed on Monday evening that the 34-year-old former India ‘A’ skipper will spearhead their charge in the opening season of the Twenty20 tournament in a dual role, not unlike Shane Warne with the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

Most teams have started looking beyond the mandatory six players they must procure from the elite 48-man pool that will be up for auction on August 14. Towards that end, the Panthers, procured by Subhas Enterprises, had selection trials in Belgaum on Monday, where nearly 180 players from within the district -- Athani, Gokak, Karwar and Bhatkal -- turned up.

After three rounds of screening, the list has now been pruned to 24, who will face off in a selection match on Tuesday. Eventually, five players will be selected from this process to be a part of the Panthers’ 20-man KPL squad.

Other franchises too have zeroed in on personnel they believe are best qualified to help them make a mark. Qualified coaches as well as State senior and junior selectors have been in high demand.

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