A journey into the unknown

Karnataka Premier League


The KPL TrophyNow, it’s time for one big, all encompassing stride that will determine the future course of this tournament.

KPL has evoked mixed response from the time it was first mooted. For some it was a timely initiative, for some it represented the hubris of Karnataka State Cricket Association and for some it was just another cash-milking cow. A conclusive answer is lying another 15 days away, but on Wednesday, the opening day of the event, all parties will get a strong portent.

The matches between Bangalore Provident and Mangalore United and Bangalore Brigadiers and Belagavi Panthers will give a first glimpse of the quality, intensity and the impact the build up to the tournament has made on the public. Having said that, this is certainly not a platform to try and catch the moon, but just a stepping stone to something bigger in the future, an arena for some unknown talent to express themselves.

Till now, the abilities of Aditya B Sagar, KL Rahul, A Mithun and Kunal Kapoor, to name a few, remained largely invisible to the public eye. KPL will be an ideal platform for these players to make a statement that Karnataka still have serious talent in its stable.

There have been many examples of cricketers from districts struggling to get into the State team, breaking the hold of City-based cricketers. KPL could offer them a chance to impress the mandarins with a lively show.

Manish Pandey, the find of the IPL 2, will be one of the stars to watch out in the inaugural KPL.Another plus point of the event is the chance it offers for lesser known players to play under the lights. The likes of Sunil Joshi, Robin Uthappa, B Akhil and Bharat Chipli have experienced the difference of playing in the lights and using the white ball. Now the lesser lights have an opportunity to go through the varying phases of a night match that will stand them in good stead in the future.

These players also might have played in front of empty galleries so far. Hopefully, the KPL will offer them a chance to exhibit their skills in front of a sizeable crowd, preparing them to face much bigger number of spectators if destiny carries them so far ahead.

Those unfamiliar names are not the only beneficiaries of the tournament. Even established names like C Raghu and N C Aiyappa will be under scanner during the event and a fine effort could pep Aiyappa’s morale ahead of a hectic season.

A good show from Raghu, who will lead the Mysore Maharaajas, could put him in contention for the State captaincy when discussions come up in the near future. Considering that there will not be any matches before the Champions League, the KPL will also work as a good preparatory ground for Uthappa, Akhil, Manish Pandey and R Vinay Kumar, who are in the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, to polish their Twenty20 skills.

So the ground has been set for action-packed days, and the next fortnight will prove whether KPL is a path-breaker or yet another encore of the flight of Icarus.

The teams fighting for the big prize in the Karnataka Premier League

*Belagavi Panthers:  J Arun Kumar (Captain), Manish Pandey, R Vinay Kumar, Shyam Ponappa, BM Vinay Uthappa, David Johnson, P Yogesh, Suraj Sampath, Santosh Vadeyaraj, AR Mahesh, KST Sai, Stalin Hoover, Guruprasad, R Madhusudan, G Vinay, Parappa Mordi, Ronit More, Zeshan Ali Syed, Sachin Shinde, Ramling Patil, Ashwin Punja. Bowling Coach: T Naseeruddin, Batting Coach: KN Ramesh.

*Mysore Maharaajas: C Raghu (capt), Pawan KB, Aditya Sagar, Chethan William, C Raghavendra, Abrar Kazi, Sudhirr Rao, Nithin Bille, Shoaib Manager, KM Aiyappa, SP Manjunath, Manoj KH, B Rajashekhar, Harsha, Ashwath Aiyappa, Tarun Muthanna, Uttham Raj, Nithin, Ajendra, Suchith, Sharath, Somshekhar, Roshan M; Coach: Somshekhar Siriguppi, Assistant coach: GK Anil Kumar.

*Bijapur Bulls: Stuart Binny (captain), Devaraj Patil, Mithun Beerala, Shinde, Mohd Arif, Anish DV, Arvind Venkatesh Reddy, AV Sandeep. Nelson Pinto, Gaurav Dhiman, Daniel Liao, Praveen Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Pranesh Desai, Surendra Prasad, Abhishek Jagan, Vinay Kumar, Karan Rao, CK Akshay, Ravi Bharat Kane, Jayprakash Shetty. Coach: PV Shashikant

*Bangalore Brigadiers: Deepak Choughule (captain), Robin Uthappa, David Mathias, KL Rahul, Mansoor Ali Khan, CB Karthik, Nikhil Kashyap, Vinu Prasad Narayan, Syed Ibrez, Rajesh Singh, Sadiq Kirmani, Vinodh S, Ravi Patel, Raghotham Navalli, TK Ananth, Dilip Sagar, Nishant S, M Vinod, Manoj M; Coach: R Ananth.

*Provident Bangalore: B Akhil (captain), VS Thilak Naidu, Amith Verma, MK Manjunath, Sunil Kumar Jain, Anand Katti, Anirudh Joshi, Manjesh Reddy, Sunil Kumar DH, MR Darshan, Sarfaraz Ashraf, Vishwanathan M, Bhavesh P Jain, NC Aiyappa, Rahul Bhatkal, Jagadeesh L, Arjun Shetty; Coach: R Muralidhar; Assistant Coach: Vijay Madyalkar.

*Mangalore United: Bharath Chipli (captain), Nikhil Haldipur, S Arvind, Udit Patel, KV Bharath, Rohit Sabharwal, Karun Nair, Synan Abdul Khadar, Keshav Chitta, Vijay Chauhan, Umesh Karvy, Kiran Kumar, SN Amit, DC Rajesh, SK Moinuddin, Asgar Pasha, Steve Lazarus, Venkatesh, Janardhan, MSD Khan, Mohammed Asif, Rohan Shetty; Coach: K Sanath Kumar; Assistant Coach: Fazal Khaleel.

Shamanur Davangere Diamonds: Sunil Joshi (captain), Yere Gowda, CM Gautam, Sunil Raju, Pavan Deshpande, Raghavendra Rao, Mayank Agarwal, Prasanna Patil, Rakshan Rai, M Nidish, M Nagaraj, Maghizhendan, Srivats Puranik, Nooruddin, D Raghavendra, Bipin, Abhilash, Shashab, Ajay Singh Chauhan, ST Sharath. Coach: Dodda Ganesh.

*Malnad Gladiators: Ryan Ninan (captain), KP Appanna, Raju Bhatkal, A Mithun, Ganesh Satish, Rajashekhar Shanbal, SL Akshay, Kunal Kapoor, Nishant Hedge, K Gowtham, KC Avinash, Tejesh Wagle, Sandesh Satish, Sanjay Kumar, D Santosh, Balasubramaniam, Karan Tandon, Vijay Karthik; Coach: Varun Kumar.

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