BENGALURU: The seven Karnataka Premier League 2019 squads were finalised late last month during the auction. Two and half weeks later, they are ready to battle it out, with Bengaluru Blasters and Mysuru Warriors kicking off the eighth edition at M Chinnaswamy Stadium. As the teams have been training only from the first week of August, lack of preparation could be a problem.
However, with Karnataka having competitive tournaments, these players have matches under their belt, although in a different format. "The boys have been playing real competitive cricket in the last few months, like the K Thimmappiah Memorial, KSCA division etc. I also feel that 20 days or so is good time for preparation and as professionals, we have to get used to it as well," said Ballari Tuskers captain CM Gautam.
With the first leg of the competition, scheduled from August 16-23 in the city, weather has been a challenge. Despite having a number of quality grounds, heavy rains meant that the facilities were wet and some of the teams had to resort to gym sessions, team meetings and discussions for the upcoming matches.
When the weather was fine, teams played practice matches against other franchises in various grounds. It gave them an idea of what combinations they can have.
"As part of our preparations, practice matches has put us in good stead. We know which batsmen will suit in a particular situation and the same goes for bowlers. But playing a practice game and the main KPL is completely different," said Blasters' captain Jonathan Rongsen.
But some of the teams made the best use of the available conditions and grabbed the opportunity, practising in open nets. They were involved in match-like simulations, getting in six and ten-over contests.
Some were unfortunate with rain keeping them away from training under lights at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday. A number of matches will be played under lights in both Bengaluru and the second leg in Mysuru.
"We couldn't train because of the rain on Wednesday. We badly wanted to field under lights. Not being able to bat and bowl is fine but fielding under lights needs practice. But there's nothing we can do to help it," said Bulls captain Bharath Chipli.
With preparations coming to an end on Thursday, they have to play quality cricket, irrespective of the weather. "The rains might come into the picture this season, but that is not in our control. The thing is we have to play good and consistent cricket throughout the season" said Mir Kaunain Abbas, Belagavi Panthers skipper.