KPL likely to be held in mid-June

KPL likely to be held in mid-June

KSCA mulls players auction next week

Started with much fanfare but pushed to the backburner by a combination of factors after the second season, the third edition of the Karnataka Premier League might be held mid-June in Bangalore and Mysore.

A few disgruntled franchises had proved to be a stumbling block in the conduct of the tournament since it was last held in September 2010, but the Karnataka State Cricket Association is determined to go ahead with the event this year, even if it means fielding its own sides in case some teams decide not to turn up.

It might be recalled that six of the eight franchises had asked for the postponement of the third edition proposed to be held in September 2011. Citing lack of time to carry out promotional activities and possible rain threat at that point in time, the team owners had requested the Anil Kumble-led KSCA dispensation to postpone the tournament to February 2012. Subsequently, three teams -- Mysore Maharajas, Davangere Diamonds and Bangalore Brigadiers -- reportedly conveyed it to the the KSCA their decision to pull out of the event, though there is nothing given in writing.

Though the remaining five franchises have expressed their interest to be part of the T20 league, the stand-off between the owners and the association over the guarantee money for the year had put a question mark over the conduct of the tournament.

The teams have been asking the authorities to first announce the dates and venues for the third season, while the KSCA has been insisting on payment of the guarantee money of Rs 20 lakh.

However, both the feuding parties now appear to have made some headway with at least four of the five franchises agreeing to shell out the required sum.

The KSCA has suggested that the tournament be held from June 9-23 with an option to postpone the start by a week, if necessary. “That’s the only window that’s available for us to conduct the meet, though we have given a week’s buffer time,” said a KSCA official. That means, he pointed out, they have to conduct the players’ auction latest by May 25.

“I know it seems we are cutting it too fine, but we don’t have much of an option. Of course , there are some legal hurdles to face with regards to franchises who have decided not to take part but it’s been our wish to hold the event. We want all the eight teams to be in action but if some teams stay firm on their decision, we are even ready to organise a six-team tournament,” explained the official.

There is also talk of one of Belagavi Panthers’ owners moving out and buying one of the ‘abandoned’ teams through fresh bidding.    

Mangalore United are the defending champions while Bangalore Providents won the inaugural edition.

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