The Tamil Nadu Premier League is a cricketing league that was created by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. Often shortened to the TNPL, the Tamil Nadu Premier League has not received the sort of praise and acclaim that has been afforded to the bigger domestic leagues in India and around the world, but it is a growing league and one that has a strong fanbase nonetheless.
Tamil Nadu is one of the many Indian states, sitting in the southernmost part of the country. It is responsible for a significant slice of India’s GDP, being the second richest state in the region and contributing the equivalent of around $200 billion US dollars to the economy every year. The goal of the Tamil Nadu Premier League was to create a league that could promote this region, its players, its team and the sponsors, owners and investors that oversee them.
It is an area that has always been rich in natural resources, and its cities have been meccas for music, film and literature over the years. However, until the formation of the TNPL, there wasn’t a great deal with regards to sport. The Tamil Nadu Premier League was seen as something that could thrust this region back into the sporting world, taking advantage of a growing interest in all forms of professional sport in India and doing something to improve the global status of the Indian state.
There has been a lot of interest in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, with sponsorship money, big players and TV networks attracted to it. There was a big opening ceremony that featured TNCA President and Indian Captain MS Dhoni, as well as performances by many Indian stars. Chris Gayle, one of the biggest names in cricket over the last couple decades, has made a point of visiting the games, as have players like Suresh Raina and Dean Jones.
The league itself is based on a T20 format, with a point-based league table giving way to a knockout stage that begins at the semi-final. It’s quick, it’s short, it’s full of action and interest—it’s everything that modern cricket should be. It’s essentially a format that is mirrored by big leagues across the nation and the continent, and one that has worked very well for all involved.
There were a total of 8 teams brought during the inaugural season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League. These include the following:
The first season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League was broadcast by Star India, with commentary in both English and Tamil to ensure that a broad spectrum of viewers were covered. The league itself got off to a very exciting start and had won plenty of fans over with the first few games.
By the end of the season there were a total of 31 matches played, with a massive 8823 runs scored and 430 wickets taken. The star players of the first season were Jagadeesan, who claimed the most runs of any player, while Anthony Dhas finished with the most wickets, at a total of 14.