DINDIGUL: That Murali Vijay belongs to the ilk of men who make opportunities count is as evident a fact as the direction from which the sun rises and sets. So, despite the rain gods playing spoilsport by washing out his comeback for the Lyca Kovai Kings in the second edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), the 33-year-old was chuffed about his return to the event on Thursday. “It’s an absolute pleasure to be back here. I’ve been waiting for this, and hopefully I can start it from here and build it there on,” said Vijay on the day of his team’s called-off clash against the Madurai Super Giant at NPR College ground in Natham.
The Indian opener missed the tour of Sri Lanka due to an injury to his right wrist. After experiencing frequent pain in the same wrist during a comeback match in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) First Division for Jolly Rovers in mid July, he was advised by the BCCI to take rest. Back in the scheme of things in the TNPL, Vijay painted an optimistic picture of his intermediate future, replete with his now-trademarked touch of candour.
“I don’t feel a 100 per cent, to be honest. But mentally, yes, I’m up there. And, format doesn’t matter to me, bro. I’ve been saying this over a period of time. It’s just been injuries, which are not under my control. I just want to get myself fit and play cricket,” he explained. “As you’ve seen, my career has become one-dimensional at the moment. So, I obviously want to enhance it. Batting is never a problem for me. It’s just about mindset and injuries, which I want to manage properly now on. Any cricket is fantastic for me, because I enjoy playing.
This is an excellent opportunity to start my second innings.” Vijay also stressed on the domestic benefits that the league entails, considering that it serves as a platform for district cricketers to showcase their talent on a bigger stage. “The state is going to benefit from this no doubt, rather than anything else. And that is fantastic. The whole idea is to get the domestic talent to a different stage of their careers. Basically help them out so that people can see them more.
For example, Natarajan and a couple of others were picked for the IPL. This is just a starting stage for them,” elaborated Vijay. “This event will give them more exposure and the opportunity to play under lights. Full credit to the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association for the tournament. Also, this tournament should be looked at as one where you go out to showcase talent, rather than going in under pressure.”
The right-hander was also effusive about the talent that the league has produced so far, singling out R Sai Kishore in particular. “I like the way he handles himself. He has been fantastic. Aside from him, there are the likes of (Baba) Aparajith, (Baba) Indrajith and Dinesh (Karthik) who have all been doing well and sharing their experiences with others.”