Former stars for KPL

Cricket Karnataka Premier League : IPL-style Qualifier, Eliminator to be introduced

Former stars for KPL

The introduction of IPL-style Qualifiers and Eliminator and the presence of a few former Test cricketers from Karnataka are two of the new features of this edition of the Karnataka Premier League being held from August 26 to September 13 in Mysuru and Hubballi.

Former India pacemen Venkatesh Prasad and David Johnson and left-arm spinning all-rounder Sunil Joshi have agreed to be part of All Stars, a celebrity team to be led by Kannada movie star Sudeep.

The All Stars was previously referred to as the Rock Stars which made its foray in the last season but failed to register a single win. It remains to be seen if the induction of retired stars makes any difference to their fortunes.

The KPL IV will also have a new team from Shivamogga -- Namma Shivamogga -- taking the total number of teams in the fray to eight. Seven teams -- Mysore, Hubli, Mangalore, Bijapur, Bellari, Belagavi and Rock Stars -- competed the last time and the Mysore Warriors team emerged victorious.

The auction for the forthcoming season will be held on July 25 with each of the existing franchises having the option of retaining two players while they must also pick two from their catchment areas.

The event will kick off in Mysuru at the SDNR Wadiyar ground, which will also host the final by virtue of Warriors being the defending champions. Rajnagar Ground in Hubballi will host its share of matches while Mangaluru has been taken out as the third host because of possible rain threat.

Big names

While the Karnataka State Cricket Association hasn’t been able to convince the BCCI to allow players from other state teams to take part in the event, the hosts boast of some of the finest cricketers themselves with the likes of Robin Uthappa, R Vinay Kumar, Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Stuart Binny, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Mithun, S Arvind, Shreyas Gopal and Ronit More in their stable.

 J Suchith, who shot into fame with IPL champions Mumbai Indians, and ‘mystery’ spinner KC Kariappa will also be in action.   KSCA secretary Brijesh Patel spoke about the reason behind introducing qualifiers and eliminator.

“Last season we saw the consistent teams missing out on final after just one bad game. So to give them a fair chance to succeed, we have decided adopt the IPL-style qualification process.”

The top two teams will compete in Qualifier 1 (Q 1) and the winner will enter the final straightaway.

The loser of Q 1 will meet the winner of the Eliminator, where teams placed third and fourth will contest, in Qualifier 2. The winner of Q 2 will take the other place in the title clash.
All the matches will be telecast live on Sony Six.

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